Virtual City 2: Paradise Resort|
One of my favorite and first console games was called SimCity 2000 and it had a very easy goal; build a city and make sure it runs right while thwarting all the disasters that come your way and try to ruin your grand creation. Virtual City 2: Paradise Resort gives me that same feeling of accomplishment that SimCity gave me as a kid. Thankfully, and also unfortunately, itís also a lot more complex, which isnít necessarily a bad thing as all it did was pull me into the game even more and made me pay even more attention to minor details such as placement of a bus-stop and even fountains. My first honest impression was ďmicromanagement hellĒ but that goes away after you start enjoying the gameplay.
Thankfully the game asks if youíve ever played Virtual City before and prompts you to try out the tutorial; which I highly recommend even if you have played the previous title. The game is played in a mission mode with certain goals and a time limit given in each town that determines your score at the end. I was getting all gold stars up until about the 12th mission. After that I dropped down to silver status due to the time limits given and my lack of funds to buy upgrades. Many of you wonít have a problem getting gold stars on every mission. Due to the lay-out of the mission mode youíll never be overwhelmed with items needing to get accomplished.
A fair amount of time will be spent on balancing the happiness of your workforce, environmental rating, population and size of your town. I made the mistake of just trying to build a large amount of housing but as the environment rating went down I actually lost population. At one point I was down to 8 people left during one of my missions. You have to focus on all three aspects of the game at the same time or risk losing that perfect score. When I first started to play Paradise Resort I was a little confused as to why I was in the middle of Iowa for the first couple missions. When I think of paradise I think of the Bahamas and Hawaii, The paradise resort part of the game actually pertains to the tourism and entertainment aspect, which youíll be working on quite a bit to make sure money keeps flowing in and everyone stays happy. This is where the complexity starts to show its grandeur, as you of course need to start setting up transport for all these tourists, but not just to and from the train station or airport - that would be to easy. You have to keep a steady route of transport to all the destinations in your city that attract people such as hotels, casinos, and even the mall. This has to be done along with all the other public transportation and production chains youíll be setting up too.
Productions chains get interesting later on in the missions as you build sometimes up to five buildings just to get the final product, and for each of these buildings you need to keep a transport route to get all the supplies to their destination so that it can reach the final step and either be shipped off to another city or sent to the mall to be sold. Thankfully itís a process you get gradually introduced to so that it doesnít quite stump you on the first solo mission. Just be sure to have plenty of trucks and roads to drive on. Something I found out early enough is to always have a tech station, also known as truck repair service, along every few routes because your trucks can and will breakdown at the most inopportune times. Doing so will have automatic repairs done with no cash charges billed to the player.
Due to the fact I played this game on an iPhone 4 I will say I wish I had an iPad or that this game was on PC so I could enjoy the graphics a bit more. While they did look nice and crisp, sometimes I had the bad habit of clicking on the wrong houses and busses that were alongside each other; something Iím sure is remedied with a larger screen. As far as sound goes itís hard to grade a game that all you really listen to is music playing in the background and certain special effects, it did them well so I canít complain.
With 52 levels and four different locales for your cities to flourish in, Virtual City 2: Paradise Resort is one of the more challenging G5 Entertainment titles to be introduced, but itís also one that will keep you entertained for hours on end. Youíll soon learn to love the complexity and involving gameplay that makes it so great. Sadly, this is not a universal app so if you do own an iPad make sure to get the HD version.