App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
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The premise of Build Away! is simple: gold allows you build, and buildings constantly produce gold in return.
You start with a couple of rusty shacks, one of them being the town hall of this city state, and progressively, you can erect apartment complexes, and cardboard factories, and gas stations ...
The roster of available blueprints is considerable, from cafes to supermarkets to water factories. The more sophisticated the building, the more gold it’ll produce.
Likewise, each building site requires you to issue a big check in order to get the construction permits. So slowly but surely, you start gaining terrain, expanding both horizontally and vertically, and creating not-so-huge metropolis.
It is great to see your city steadily expanding. However, there are a few caveats to this socialist utopia.
The tap collector
The first one is the crux of the in-app purchases: tax collecting is slow – very slow. You will probably let your game run for a whole day and, particularly further into the game, you still will not be able to add a new building.
Every time a building generates currency – the timer depends on the building and its upgrade, you can tap on it and collect it. This goes to your account, which then you can decide how to distribute that money.
‘Construction’ is one of the two elements you can spend your lazily earned money. If you improve this stat in a building, it will generate more gold for every timer completed.
‘Power’, on the other hand, works in exactly the same way, but it shortens the timers’ periods, instead of the amount of money provided. This should be the first thing you improve in a building, as it’ll allow it to stack up uncollected gold.
Lastly, you can always enhance each building by spending love. Can you afford upgrading your shack to an office building? Then do not hesitate.
The dodgy briefcases
Briefcases become available or are granted to you at certain milestones during the game. These give you extra amount of gold or love, at random.
These boost your city’s development considerably, as the briefcases are no pat on the back. They’re big motherlodes of corruption money – or I believe.
As they are fairly scarce, your alternative option is to spend gems on them. As you probably have guessed, gems are the hard currency of the game, although you occasionally will get some extra ones in your free briefcases.
A few tricks, like connecting to Facebook or watching ads give you temporary boosts of generated gold, but they will rarely make a big difference.
As I said, gold production is slow, and you often find yourself coming to the game after hours just to collect taxes and nothing else. Whereas it’s straightforward and simple, the basic management of this city builder does not allow for much experimentation.
There’s always a gratifying feeling in seeing your own creation grow, be it a city or a baby. But unlike a baby, Build Away! always instils that feeling of not being satisfied with what you have. Always waiting, looking ahead, to the time you’ll have enough capital to start building projects.
In the meantime, all you can do is wait. And tap.