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Review City Island ™: Builder Tycoon
Your typical city builder
Author: Brandon Girod
Date: 19 Aug 2015, tested on HTC One M8
Mostly short wait times, you can skip the tutorial
Many buildings rely on spending real money, boring aesthetic, unintersting mechanics
City Island for Android has been around for a while, so it’s interesting to go back to an older game in this genre to see how things have evolved. To some degree, they have. To others? Not so much.
To be honest, there isn’t much reason to play the first game in the series when there are already two more that have been released since, and there are plenty of other city builders that are more capable. On the plus side, the tutorial is skippable, so you don’t have to spend thirty minutes in order to get started.
Building is simple enough, but I felt like the icons for each build menu looked a little too similar in some cases. I often found myself mixing up the road and building menus, for instance. The UI is pretty clean overall, though, and it gives players a few different ways to view their cities in order to help them optimize their builds.
Unfortunately, I found the overall aesthetic to be a bit boring. Homes typically look the same, and the game doesn’t really give players any incentive to have various commercial buildings outside of the ones that pay the highest relative to the player’s level. For the sake of efficiency, my city ended up being filled with 8x8 grids connected by roads because it was the easiest way to build. My city never began to look impressive either. After playing Sim City for Android, that’s kind of a bummer.
Checking out City Island was fun for a throwback, but you can probably do yourself a favor by sticking to whatever the latest city builders are, or this game’s more recent iterations. They’re all bound to be more interesting than what exists here.