I've been avoiding freemium games but somehow let myself get stuck with one or two every now and then. The last time was with Godus, hoping it will be an amazing mobile version of the legendary Populous but was truly disappointed by the bugs and timers. This time around, SimCity BuildIt got my attention.
Even though it's SimCity, fans of the desktop version would be displeased with all the irritating freemium timers while those looking for complexity and micro-management may not find the game up to the task. BuildIt is, at the core, what most freemium games are best at - build things and wait for timers to pass to proceed further OR just pay your way through with real cash.
The game progressed quite swiftly for the first few level ups until the in-app purchases rear its ugly head when you start to run short of money and when newer materials need longer time to be manufactured. I’m also puzzled at how far you need to progress before it is possible to unlock disasters, which obviously is one way to get you to make in-app purchases (IAP) if you can’t wait.
Besides that, I don't get the part where you need to go through the whole tutorial again before being able to sign in to Game Center to sync the game with an existing iOS device.
Well, the game isn't all bad because it's got nice graphics with realistic traffic on the road, reflection off buildings and shadows depending on the time of the day. Besides that, I like the way daylight will give way to night with building and street lights coming on. I also like that it is possible to easily rotate and tilt the city around so that certain buildings or structures do not get lost behind bigger and taller ones.
Playability could be worse but there are more rotten freemium games out there than this. 2/5
It's got crazy timers that get crazier as you progress. Developer also employs strategy to test your patience in the hope that you will eventually crumble and fall and opt for IAP instead. 0/5
User interface is rather well done. 4/5
Graphics are definitely a plus point here though I wonder why there are no special festive decors during Christmas. 4/5
In the end, for those that played through all the real SimCity games, there is a high chance that this is not your cup of tea but may provide some eye candy to help sweeten your mobile life. 2/5