REVIEW: CityBuilder – Mobile Game (iOS)

Reading Time: 2 minutes

CityBuilder is a puzzle city building game from BoomBox where the player builds up layers of a city from streets to plumbing to electrical by creating paths to build and you can also upgrade buildings. You are given a map with a beginning and an end point and some obstacles in between and have to create the paths by putting together different shaped pieces. You have 5 at any time and can press a button to shuffle them but using it too many times in a row will cause it to overload and you have to start back at the beginning. Released for PC at the end of 2017 CityBuilder came to mobile in October 2018.

I played CityBuilder on my Samsung S8 with Android Oreo 8.0. Unfortunately, while the gameplay itself is rather fun there are quite a few bugs in the Android mobile version. Each game starts extremely zoomed in so you lose time adjusting so you can’t see more of the map. The timer and points counter at the top of the screen are really large which was probably ok for the computer version but they make the map very cramped in mobile.

Each city has a number of layers to finish, each layer with less time to complete it. Unfortunately, you must finish all parts at the same time if you want to move on. If you leave the game and come back after finishing one or two you have to destroy the city and start again.

The music, as you can hear from the video above, has a jaunty western feel but if you want to turn it down or off using the in-app options you have to manually do it after every city. It’s quite jarring if you’re playing on a train while listening to music over headphones and suddenly the in-game music starts blaring in your ear at top volume.

But the biggest issue is I wasn’t actually able to move past the first continent because every time I tried to do the bonus level the game would freeze and I would have to close and restart the game and the level.

I like the actual game mechanics, but I do think it could benefit from some sort of story tying things together. I’m still not sure what the difference between house, factory, and store is since they look the same on the map. Perhaps there’s more differentiation later in the game and according to the website you run into a lot of interesting obstacles later on like mole men and aliens, unfortunately, I couldn’t play far enough to find out due to the crashing.

City Builder
  • 4/10
    Rating - 4/10
4/10

TL; DR

I like the actual game mechanics, but I do think it could benefit from some sort of story tying things together. I’m still not sure what the difference between house, factory, and store is since they look the same on the map. Perhaps there’s more differentiation later in the game and according to the website you run into a lot of interesting obstacles later on like mole men and aliens, unfortunately, I couldn’t play far enough to find out due to the crashing.