Price: FREE (in-app purchases)
Version Reviewed: 1.3
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4S
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Independent developers Playdemic have brought their life simulation Village Life - which has been a smash hit success with over 15 million users on Facebook alone - to iOS, allowing new and existing players to take their constantly-growing villages with them on the move. Expanded for the iOS platform, Village Life features full cross-platform play, so players on Facebook can just progress from right where they left off.
For those new to the game, Village Life starts off small and grows gradually into a large community of settlers. It sees players growing virtual villagers from the moment they are born, fulfilling their various needs and having to guide them through life - all whilst harvesting food, providing fun, and keeping their spirits high. Players can see their villagers go on first dates, get married, and eventually have children of their very own.
What I particularly liked about Village Life was the potential to socialize and have relationships with villagers from other games across the network, which is unusually different to social dynamics seen in other similar games. The interface, although clearly laid out and designed for a user-friendly format, is not so easy to work around on the mobile platform and smaller models. The text is on the smaller side and some players may struggle to read the dialogue or descriptions, but this is only a minor issue and doesn’t detract from gameplay a great deal as visually the graphics are bold, bright, and clear-cut.
There’s the option, of course, for players who have little patience or like to expand their village to a greater extent to partake in spending extra money in-game on a variety of specific items. Players also have the option of buying more gems or paying to accomplish a specific task to advance further into the game. What I didn’t like however was how intrusive it could be at times, reminding me constantly that this option was available. Unfortunately a lot of the tasks the villagers have to carry out involve extra steps in order to build or craft certain items or make specific food, which either means asking fellow Facebook friends (which is an aspect of the game I particularly disliked) or paying out for more gems in order to complete the task.
Village Life is a clever little simulation game for those invested in the Facebook game or for anyone who has a lot of patience. It’s enjoyable, but not exactly fast-paced, and I’m not sure children would find it all together exciting.