About This Place

First started in late 2007, Kasey's Mobile Game Review (then just a regular feature of Kasey's Korner) started as a simul-post between here and IGN. Later I realized there's no reason to post it twice, when I can use the traffic on my own site. so, here we are, in 2010, and the mobile game industry has grown a bit. What do you think?

KMGR of "SimCity: Metropolis"

SimCityImage via WikipediaSimCity MetroPolis is a refinement of SimCity into more of a game experience, and for veteran SimCity mayors, this may be a bit too easy. However, for those new to the genre, it provides a fresh into the world of SimCity, and is relatively easy to pickup, with a much more accessible interface and interrelationships between the various needs of the city, and it even has decent graphics!

SimCity Metropolis has you being appointed to the position of mayor by the president of SimNation. However, the president is giving you various goals, usually 3 of them like "keep pollution rating at 7 or better", "get population up to 10K", and "keep satisfaction rating at 7 or better". You work only one of the three suburbs at a time, each suburb/district has different layouts and different set of buildings.

The view is regular isometric, and resolution is quite good on my LG enV. The land is criss-crossed with various streets and parks. Build-able land is limited, and from which you have to choose residential, industrial/commercial, and culture/services.

Residential buildings are basically your houses, from simple townhouses to hi-density condos, for the sims to live in. They come in various sizes, and their capacity and price will vary.

Industrial/Commercial buildings provide jobs, power, pollution (or cleanup), and so on. Some also contribute to traffic, increase/decrease of satisfaction ratings, and such, and comes in much larger sizes. Could be factories, treatment plants, even powerplants, or as simple as communications hub, company HQ, and so on.

Culture/Services buildings provide service to the Sims, and generally make them happier, like clinics and hospitals, baseball and basketball fields, restaurants and Squarebucks coffee, memorial plaza and cosmodome, and so on. They generally raise the satisfaction of the Sims and increase their physical fitness as well.

Clearly one must balance the needs of the city vs. the budget and the goals. And doing so within the time limit (usually 12-36 months) can be a challenge to the newly minted mayor. However I am usually months ahead of schedule, as I am very good in fitting pieces together to get max buildings into min real estate.

The interface is very simple. Use the D-pad to move the cursor around the map. If it's on an existing building, you can query it, demolish it, recycle it (into another building of same size), and so on. If it's on empty space, you can use the arrows to pick a type of building, then choose from list, then move the size guide around until it turns green (i.e. a valid build). Hit OK, and it'll be built in a few seconds!

There is no need to set prices as that's automatic. Just build things, and the Sims will come to live, work, and play. You'll need to build a balance of buildings, of course.

Every once in a while you're called upon to make a decision on something strange, like "alien habitat", as an alien wants to remodel the neighborhood. Do you let him, refuse him, or ignore him altogether? At other times, a monster or an asteroid will destroy one of your buildings. Every few months the SimPrez will update you on your progress (or lack thereof) and remind you which area seems to be a bit low.

If you finish all three "50K residents" missions, you get another term as mayor and this time, you get sandbox mode: no more goals, just upgrade existing stuff.

All in all, SimCity Metropolis is a nice intro to SimCity more of a game, less of a toy. But it's not a breakthru.

Overall rating: 7.5 out of 10
Pros: simplified interface makes things easy to get into
Cons: still a lot of wants to track and satisfy, not all relationships explained

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