Virtual City
Reviewed by Didi Cardoso
Review Date Platform Genre Rating Production
2011-09-10 Android Simulation E (Everyone) G5 Entertainment

Virtual City caught my eye because it looked like a SimCity that I could carry with me on my phone for some casual play on the go. With less micromanagement than the popular city-building franchise, Virtual City is actually a compelling game that you can take anywhere and still get your city building fix.

The main difference worth noting is that Virtual City is all about goal-oriented city building instead of open-ended gameplay, and its focus relies on the transportation needs of your cities. You start the game by inheriting your uncle's shipping company and going through a tutorial explaining how to use your trucks to ship raw materials to factories and their products to retail stores.

Let's say you need to sell a number of pies. Obviously, pies don't grow on trees, so you must send your fleet to the farm to collect grain, and set a route to the mill so it can turn the grain into flour. Once you have your flour, you set another truck route to bring it to the bakery, which in turn needs milk to bake the pies. So now you must set up another route from the dairy farm to deliver the milk to the bakery. A final route transports the pies to the retail outlet, and that's how you complete your goal and earn your money.

Goals will shift from producing and selling goods to increasing your population or building specific facilities. Eventually, with so many trucks and factories running, your pollution index rises, and no one wants to live in polluted cities. So your job will then focus on making your cities more attractive by planting trees and upgrading facilities to be more environment-friendly, organize a garbage collection route, build hospitals, establish bus routes to take people to places to keep them entertained (for example, the mall or the theatre), build fountains and plazas, establish trade routes with other cities.

With so much to do and no time pressure, sometimes it's easy to get sidetracked, but fortunately the game has a checklist to remind you of what you need to do, and crosses off whatever you have already completed.

While Virtual City may not possess all the details and micromanagement present in a SimCity game, that doesn't mean it's any less engaging or much simpler to play. The gameplay is still complex enough to offer a challenge and give you that overwhelming feeling, but it's still easy enough to grasp, and most of all, fun to play.

Virtual City offers 50 cities to manage in total, plenty of challenges and a series of obstacles to make your life difficult, such as strikes, natural (and sometimes unnatural) disasters, economic recessions and horrible city planning. It will definitely keep you busy.