iOS, Android •
We’ve lamented the dearth of decent, non-freemium city-builders on the App Store in the past, leaving us to be content building metropolises on our laptops via City: Skylines or the old Impressions titles. By the way, who do I have to pay to get mobile versions of Pharaoh or Zeus? Seriously, people, if you’re going to bring old PC games to mobile, can we start there? Anyway, back to the sorry state of city-building and management on the App Store. I was perusing Touch Arcade this morning and stumbled on a post they had about a little game called Pocket City. I’m intrigued.
The Pocket City devs, Codebrew Games, released a trailer today (which you can watch below) that shows off what we can expect when Pocket City releases. It has a real SimCity 4 vibe to it, with bustling traffic and short, square buildings. That’s not a knock–I don’t think we can expect anything like Cities: Skylines massive oceans of steel and glass on mobile. Otherwise, it looks like a real city-builder!
The game promises everything we’d hope to find in a game like this: different zoning, city services like police and fire, crime, traffic, and disasters. I’ve always been a bit on the fence about SimCity’s disasters. Yeah, they’re fun to watch but there’s something about seeing my creation get destroyed that I find more frustrating than fun. I guess I prefer my city-building with less stress. I think I’ve mentioned in the past that I play games like Civilization VI and XCOM 2 on their easiest settings, so none of this should come as a surprise.
There have been other city-builders out there that have promised what Pocket City is promising with the caveat that they have all been free-to-play junk, usually with timers and currencies to unlock new features. Unless the devs are lying, Pocket City isn’t going to fall into that trap. They are still deciding how to monetize the game, but freemium isn’t on their list. Right now they’re looking at free to play with ads, with an option to buy the full game, ad-free, via an IAP. That works for me. They’re also looking to add more features and stuff down the road which could come as IAP, but I’ve always been okay paying for more content, so I can’t really complain with this either. Of course, the game isn’t out yet, so we need to wait and see what the final product’s entrance fee looks like.
We don’t have an exact release date for Pocket City, but the trailer mentions early 2018. Let’s hope they knock this thing out of the park. I want to build Neumannsburg on my phone, dammit.