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My Review Of Facebook's New Most Popular Game: CityVille

A Little Background Information On CityVille
Released only about a month ago, Zynga's CityVille has quickly become the number one most popular game on Facebook. Overtaking the former most popular game, FarmVille (Also created by Zynga), CityVille currently has over 86 million users worldwide. These are astounding numbers, considering the fact that the game has not even been out a month. After seeing and hearing
about CityVille, I decided to try it out for myself and write a little review on my findings.

First Thoughts On The Game
Before I even started to play CityVille, I knew that the game was created by Zynga, who are also the creators of FarmVille and Frontierville. I played FarmVille for a while, but after FrontierVille was released, I left FarmVille to go play FrontierVille. I quickly found FrontierVille to be very much like FarmVille. This being that you could plant and harvest crops, tend to animals, and buy decorations in both games. The main difference that I found in Frontierville was that it was much more reliant on Facebook friends than Farmville was. In fact, it was almost painful, constantly asking your friends for necessary items, such as nails and boards required to complete goals and tasks. The only other way to get these necessary items was to use "in-game money" which could only be bought for actual real-life $. I figured that CityVille would have a very similar gameplay style to both of these games, but more like Frontierville because it is one of Zynga's newer games. However, I believe that Zynga will try to find a balance between Frontierville's gameplay (reliant on actual $ and Facebook friends) and Farmville's gameplay (which attracted millions of users) in a way that maximizes their overall profit. After thinking about all of this, I finally entered the world of CityVille.

Review Of My First Hour Playing CityVille 
Upon entering the game, I was greeted by CityVille's guide, Samantha. If you can't read the picture the greeting says, "This land's got potential! Become Mayor, and build the city of your dreams!"After clicking "okay", you are asked to build a cottage in order to increase your city's population. Once you build the cottage, you must use two energy before you can move people in. After you move people into the house, you can collect 50 coins from that cottage every hour and a bit of exp as well.

Energy: Represented by the yellow bar on the top of your screen. Energy is needed for building, farming, collecting and basically everything else you do in CityVille. You can gain 1 energy every 5 minutes, you can visit friends' cities for energy or use in-game money to buy more energy.

Experience Points(Exp): Represented by the light blue bar on the top left of your screen. Exp. comes from collecting from businesses collecting from homes, harvesting crops, etc. The more experience points you get the higher level you become. As you advance to new levels, more businesses, houses, crops and decorations become unlocked and available for you to purchase.

Next, you are directed to build a bakery, which is categorized as a business. After spending a few energy to finish the bakery you must supply the bakery with goods.

Goods: Represented by the purple bar on the top of the screen. Goods can be obtained by harvesting crops or by buying goods directly from the Train Platform, which is on the left side of the railroad tracks. Businesses must be supplied with goods in order for them to operate and in order for you to collect coins from them.

Coins: Represented by the number in the top left corner of your screen. Coins are used to purchase buildings, crops, goods, decorations etc. You can get coins from collecting rent from houses, collecting from businesses or from selling your goods.

Next, I was notified that my citizens were sad and that I needed to build more Community Buildings to increase my city's population limit. I then proceeded to start building a City Hall, but mid-way through I ran out of energy. While waiting for my energy to recover, I decided to send invitations to some of my friends who had already starting playing CityVille.

Luckily, a couple of friends accepted the requests within twenty minutes of me sending them out and I was able to visit their cities. Upon visiting their cities, I collected from their houses and buildings and was awarded with some reputation and coins.

Reputation: Represented by the red bar on the top of the screen when you are visiting your friends' cities. It is also represented by the number next to the heart (both in red) under your name and profile picture at the bottom of the screen. When you help out a friend's city, your reputation level goes up. As your reputation level increases, you will get more bonuses each time you help out a friend.

By the time I added friends' and visited their cities I had regained enough energy to finish my City Hall. However, when I clicked on my City Hall, the screen above popped up, saying I had to hire three friends to work in my City Hall. I sent invites to ten of my CityVille friends, but no one had accepted the request during the hour that I played.

CityVille friends didn't respond to my City Hall request, I didn't bother sending any requests for snowballs or snow flakes.

 I clicked on the second goal called "The Fussy Baker", hoping that it wouldn't require me to "Ask My Friends" for anything. Unfortunately, it did turn out to be another "Ask Your Friends" goal and so I couldn't complete that one either.

By this time I had played for a little over an hour and there was nothing left for me to do (Besides waiting 5 minutes for a total of 1 energy). You could buy energy in the market for 1 City Cash to 1 energy ratio, but it is quite expensive. The cheapest price for City Cash is 1000 City Cash for $99 USD, which comes out to about $1 USD for 10 City Cash. Some people may pay that price, but I would never even think of paying for virtual items or virtual money, especially at that price.

My Conclusion
CityVille is definitely a combination between Farmville and Frontierville, with a few added features which I like, such as the buying and selling of goods between friends. I also like the bonus meter and the collections (taken from FrontierVille). The bonus meter gives an increasing added bonus, dependent on how quickly you pick up coins and experience. The collections give exp, coins or items, depending on which collection you complete. However, I do not like the goals and the increase max population buildings which require you to constantly send requests to friends in order to advance in the game. I feel that it is annoying, to both send these requests and receive these requests.

Aside from these cons, I believe that this game is very addicting and its number of users will continue to grow. Just as with Frontierville and Farmville, CityVille users will constantly check their city to harvest crops and collect coins and experience points from their buildings. I will play CityVille for the next week or so and come up with some good Hints, Tips and Tricks for my next blog post.

P.S. Here is a screenshot of my city after 4 hours of playing. I reached level 7, I increased my maximum supply of goods by building three silos and I only have 482 coins!

Stay Tuned, Current and Future CityVille Users!

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