There are a lot of city building sim games available on Android and basically every platform, but City Island caught my eye because it somehow managed to bring back the good old memories of Sim City. And even though it’s nowhere near the complexity of the famous PC game, City Island still manages to provide some excellent gameplay for the fans of the genre.
So read on this City Island review of the Android game to find out more about it and see if you should give it a try or not!
Unlike most city building games, City Island for Android goes for a more traditional look and dumps the “fantasy” elements, meaning that you won’t have houses shaped like monster heads, or any crazy stuff there. No, you will have a nice looking city with houses and churches and parks and such, with regular cars on the roads and everything looking pretty real. And I must admit that I really love this because I was starting to get bored of all those games looking like they came from a Tom & Jerry movie.
There are a bunch of structures you can build in City Island, like houses, businesses, community buildings and decorations. You are only allowed to build a specific number of each structure (which is pretty odd), but you can get past this by paying premium currency – so probably just a little trick from the developer to try and make some money. Nothing too bad, though, as I never felt that I needed to buy an extra structure for my city, as the ones that I already had did a pretty good job.
The space you have for your city is pretty limited anyway, so the limits are well thought and help you progress through the game pretty nicely. Add to that the fact that you can upgrade any building in the game multiple times and you have really no reason to pay the premium currency unless you really like that building.
Another interesting element that few other Android city building games have is the happiness concept: you need to have parks and community buildings to increase the happiness level of your city, otherwise new people won’t settle in, even if you have the houses built. And if you don’t have enough people, you won’t have enough workers for the businesses, which in turn will mean that these buildings will generate less money. So it’s a nice little extra to have in mind, one that adds to the diversity and the challenge of the game, without being too nagging.
We also have some sort of missions – simple quests that challenge us to build the indicated number of buildings, speed up for a few times and so on. There is no story attached to City Island, and this might be a problem for some, but personally I didn’t find it that bad – it’s better to have no story and expand your city as you please instead of having a poorly written story.
The graphics, as I said, are pretty nice: nothing too spectacular, but nothing to complain about. The soundtrack and sound effects are your basic ones for this type of game, maybe even in the upper area, since I never considered the sound too annoying to turn it off. The gameplay goes without any problems and the game never lagged on my Galaxy S2, so we can say that it all goes smooth and nice.
Overall, City Island is a pretty solid city building game and I am sure you will enjoy playing it. Although it doesn’t really have any standout features and won’t keep you busy with a story attached to it, it still manages to have that something that keeps you addicted to it and wanting to play more and more. Which, in my case, is a very good thing for a game.
Final rating: 4 out of 5
Click here to download City Island from Google Play.