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Pixel Plex Guide - How to Build Better Together

Posted by Campbell Bird on March 13th, 2018

Pixel Plex is the latest city builder that has come to the App Store, and it takes a pretty different tact than the ones that came before it. Instead of being in charge of your own city by yourself, you have to work together with other players to build your city’s greatness, one block at a time. Given this new approach to this kind of game, Pixel Plex can be pretty tough to wrap your mind around, but with these tips, you’ll be on top of things in no time.

Prioritize Resources

In Pixel Plex, each player initially starts with one city block of land to work with, so you really need to make the most of it. Although there may be some variety in the things you can purchase and build on this land, none are as important as buildings that generate resources. Buildings like Lumber Mills, Concrete Factories, and Steel Mills not only produce revenue, but also the raw materials you need to do just about anything else in the game, so focus on those first, and all the other stuff later.

Bit City review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Campbell Bird on March 13th, 2017
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: WE BIT THIS CITY
This city builder is a pleasant way to spend some time, but is otherwise a pretty familiar clicker.
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Build Away! - Idle City Builder review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By 148Apps Staff on June 14th, 2016
Our rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar :: TAP
Cross-genre pollination is always a worthwhile experiment, but the results here are mixed.
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How to unlock better buildings in Build Away!

Posted by Nick Tylwalk on June 14th, 2016

When you first start playing Build Away! - Idle City Builder, it isn't much different from other tap and swipe games that came before it. You collect coins often, decide when to spend them to make more coins faster, occasionally add another coin-generating location, and eventually end up with sums of virtual money that require scientific notation to properly track.

But Futureplay has added real builder elements to Build Away too, and while no one is going to be confusing it with SimCity,it behooves you to make sure your city has better buildings than the Old Shack and Street House you unlock within the first few minutes of gameplay.

My Country 3D is More About Cities than Countries, but it Looks Okay

Posted by Rob Rich on September 3rd, 2015

My Country 3D is an upcoming city builder from Game Insight that looks pretty decent - although the name seems a tad out of whack for a city builder. Ah well, it is what it is.

1849's Nevada Silver DLC is Still Searching for the Motherlode

Posted by Rob Thomas on September 22nd, 2014
iPad App - Designed for iPad
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: BOOM OR BUST :: Read Review »

A few months ago, I took a look at 1849 from SomaSim. This Gold Rush-themed city builder for iPad had a fair bit going for it, but lacked in a few crucial areas to make it a true stand-out on the App Store. SomaSim has since added in a sandbox mode, and just last week the first content expansion, entitled Nevada Silver, went live.

Set in the wake of the discovery of major silver deposits that came to be known as the Comstock Lode, the expansion shifts focus eastward into the mountains and hills of Nevada. Available via in-app purchase for $1.99, a campaign of six new cities awaits returning prospectors, as well as a sandbox mode for the Nevada mapset.

The core of 1849 hasn’t changed with the coming of Nevada Silver, but it has thrown a few small tweaks into the mix. The trading interface, for instance, is now governed by the comings and goings of the railroad. Trains arrive in the player’s town on a regular schedule from nearby settlements, each of which is looking to buy and sell specific goods. Each train has a set number of cargo slots and while they can be switched up at any time, only a set amount of goods can flow in or out during each visit. It adds a pacing to the buildup of resources that can make seemingly innocuous tasks like “Sell 300 silver to Carson City” take forever when you can only send out three 15 unit loads per visit. And since almost all of the mission objectives in 1849: Nevada Silver require some degree of buying or selling goods, players will need to get familiar and comfortable with the rail trading system pretty quickly.

While it isn’t a part of the expansion per se, the sandbox mode bears mention as it is one of the issues I touched on the game needing during my initial review. Players pick a location for their settlement on the map, which generates size, resources, and the like based on data of the geography of the region they picked. The plot sizes run from “Large” to “Huge” to “Boundless,” which is, contrary to the name, quite bounded. Admittedly, the boundary is fully to the edges of the game’s visual layout, which is a fair sight larger than the maps one encounters in the missions, but it’s still constrained - I would assume due to some sort of technical limitations.

And speaking of technical issues, why on Earth are the tree textures still super-blurry when I zoom in to the game’s tightest camera setting? I know it’s not early onset glaucoma on my part, as everything else is still crisp and clean. It just seems very odd to leave something like this unfixed for a game that’s iPad only, where you know players are going to notice every flaw in your visuals.

The new content in Nevada Silver will take a few hours to get through (mainly due to the whims of the train-based trade economy mentioned above) and if you truly enjoyed the gameplay of the original 1849 then you’ll clearly have a good time with it. I felt the iteration and additions, while welcome, were too minor to substantially change my feelings on the product as a whole. It continues, as before, to teeter on the edge of being truly compelling, without ever fully making the plunge.

1849 Review

iPad App - Designed for iPad
By Rob Thomas on May 8th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: BOOM OR BUST
"There's gold in that there App Store!" SomaSim brings us a historical city builder for iPad, but 1849 isn't quite surefire paydirt.
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Titan: Olympus War Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Thomas on April 15th, 2014
Our rating: starstarblankstarblankstarblankstar ::
The Twelve Labors of Hercules were not as taxing as the Sisyphean effort required to struggle through this Korean import's poor translation.
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Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff Review

+ Universal & Apple Watch App - Designed for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch
By Jennifer Allen on April 14th, 2014
Our rating: starstarblankstarblankstarblankstar :: CYNICAL TAPPING
The jokes aren't the most offensive thing about this freemium city building game based around the Family Guy series.
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Clash of Clans Receives Big Update, Adds Clan Wars and More

Posted by Tre Lawrence on April 10th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: LET SLIP THE CLANS :: Read Review »

Supercell has updated its wildly popular combat strategy game Clash of Clans with some new features.

Described as the "biggest update in Clash history" by its developer, the update adds no-risk clan wars with bonus loot, and clan castle renovation.

We had an opportunity to review the game a while back. Clash of Clans is available for free (with optional in-app purchases) on the App Store.

GDC 2014 - 1849 is an Interesting Mix of City Builder and Spacial Puzzler

Posted by Rob Rich on March 18th, 2014

SomaSim's 1849 is a sim about the California Gold Rush in the same vein as older objective-driven simulations and city builders. It's also got a surprising amount of puzzle-like elements as you'll quickly find yourself trying to figure out the best way to make use of the limited space you're given.

The core idea behind 1849 is balance. You need to mine gold and other precious metals to earn money. You also need food and lodgings for your citizens and workers or else they'll abandon ship in a heartbeat. But in order to do that, you'll also have to make sure to provide other amenities such as schools and access to a saloon to keep the citizens of your ever-growing city happy. The catch is that every city (of which there are 20, each with their own overarching goals to complete) has a limit to how far it can expand. So in order to create a successful self-sustaining city you'll have to pay close attention to where you place what buildings and how many you construct.

SomaSim is aiming for an early May release. A specific price point hasn't been locked-in yet, but 1849 will be priced at a premium and offer additional content packs in the future.

CastleVille Legends Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on September 23rd, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: MEDIEVAL BUILDING
Proving quite the slow burner, CastleVille Legends is a well-made but flawed freemium based realm building game.
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Godsrule: War of Mortals Review

iPad App - Designed for iPad
By Carter Dotson on July 3rd, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: MORTAL COMBAT
This city-builder-meets-RTS game has novel ideas to it, but when push comes to shove, the actual game falls flat on its face.
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Greedy Grub Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on May 23rd, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: A CUTE CRAWL
Greedy Grub is certainly adorable, but it's not particularly ground-breaking.
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2020: My Country Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on May 20th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: BE PATIENT
One of the more satisfying freemium city building games out there.
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