App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
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In Megapolis players are given the ability to create their own unique cities by building residential, commercial, industrial, and other types of structures, including designing the landscape. There are hundreds of structures to build and infinite possibilities when it comes to designing the city. Unfortunately, even though the game has a ton of content, the freemium component really does limit what players can accomplish without having to make an in-app purchase.
The main objective is to expand the city by developing infrastructure, managing the economy, and essentially increasing the population. After a brief tutorial, players may quickly start to spend money and megabucks in exchange for houses, factories, and stores. The game begins with a significant amount of money and megabucks, but they deplete quickly as more and more buildings are constructed. However, money may be quickly earned back through taxes and contract rewards. Megabucks are much more difficult to earn, causing players to contemplate throwing down real cash just to finish constructing a building. This difficulty in obtaining a vital game currency is what really brings this game down.
The gameplay itself is also a bit lacking. Players seem to be locked into a task list that dictates what should be done in order to advance to the next level. The list says, "build a house." So, a house is purchased, checked off the list, and the next item is pursued. Also, some items are not available until a certain level is reached. These aspects of the game just seem to take away a bit of freedom for the player.
Another component of the app that isn't up to par is the graphics quality. While zoomed out, the cityscape looks fine, but it's when zoomed in close that the structures start to appear grainy or pixelated. Additionally, there does not seem to be any way to rotate the screen to view the city from different angles.
Aside from the negatives, there are some unique features in this game that are appealing. For example, if a specific structure needs to be purchased with megabucks, but the balance is running low, a request may be put in to a friend to receive the item as a gift. Another great feature is that structures may be moved and placed anywhere in the city, even after they are completely constructed. This allows a city to be redesigned without having to demolish structures and rebuild new ones.
Megapolis is definitely a fun game to play, at first. The real problem here is that so many items need megabucks to acquire, but megabucks run out quickly and take a very long time to earn back. Therefore, the game is either restricted, or players must make in-app purchases to make advancements. It's free, so try it out, but don't even think about spending $99.99 for 1,700 megabucks!