Rising Cities Review
We recently checked out Rising Cities from Bigpoint, a free to play browser based MMO that is a mix of Sim City meets Farmville to bring a very casual, fun and easy to pick up city building game where players start out as a budding mayor of a fledgling city and are tasked with helping it grow.
Whilst it was our first time playing we weren’t too concerned, giving the more basic nature of the game and the various functions and mechanics it didn’t stretch too far beyond what we expected to find and so jumping into the game after a quick registration at the official website was pretty easy.
We already have the beginnings of a city with a Town Hall, some undeveloped farm land and a handful of houses that were already built for us to claim rent from, the main purpose of homes is to give the player a constant income of coins that they must use to buy other buildings. Straight away it is obvious to see that there were two main mechanics in play: resources and time, everything takes a set amount of time to construct and has a specific cost in a combination of resources, coins and Building Permits (we’ll get to those later). The “strategy” of the game, if we can call it that (let’s be fair it is a pretty basic setup) is primarily in balancing your populous’ happiness, your city energy and general resource management to try and build the biggest and most efficient city that you can.
Throughout the game, at least for the early levels, we were constantly guided with tasks on where we should go, what we should do and how to use particular features and menus; by completing these tasks we were rewarded with coins, XP and resources. The game is simple enough that for anyone who has played anything similar they could have probably worked out most of it on their own, but it’s nice have a helping hand to at least get the initial foundations of your city in place. The tasks had us focus primarily around building new houses which gave us a separate task for both collecting rent a set amount of times and increasing the overall city populous, both of which required residential buildings. Other tasks included building a Lumber Yard, which when activated would produce Lumber to be used in various constructions, the resource was produced every few minutes and this time could be reduced by upgrading the building (something available to most buildings).
The only time we faced a hiccup was in trying to get more Building Permits; each time you want to place down a building it uses up one of your building permits, under your buildings it shows how many permits you have left. Upon using all five of our permits placing down our low level residential homes we had a bit of a hard time working out how to acquire more. There was an option to spend the premium MetroMoney currency to place an item, but initially this looked like a quick way to place a building instead of acquiring the permits… which we thought was a pretty harsh gateway given that it appeared the game had ground to a halt after erecting only five buildings. However, what we came to realise was that each specific building has its own individual Building Permits, so we were (thankfully) still able to build the other higher class residential homes to complete our tasks. With a little digging on the internet we found out that players will acquire Building Permits later in the game or, alternatively, can spend the Metro Money that they build up.
The game follows a classic build, level up, improve, build, level up, improve circle of progress until after lots of time players are facing a huge city that they now control. There’s elements of strategy in trying to keep your populous happy by placing down decorative elements, also community functions for chatting with other city owners as well as the ability to buy and sell resources on the Market. Overall the graphics are cute and well done, simple but effective for the type of game that Bigpoint have served up, and the game offers a quaint and easy casual game, though offers very little that is new to, in our opinion, an already oversaturated market. Whilst it has been around a couple of years now it was probably about three years too late to jump on the back of the Farmville craze.
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