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Sponsored Game Review: Aqua City by Animoca

July 23, 2012 - Written By Tom Dawson

App Name: Aqua City from Animoca, Get it Here

Since the rise of the Smartphone and Android as a whole, there’s been great potential for these types of apps. Fun city building games that tie-in to the social networks that are like second nature to us now. Animoca has certainly delivered just that with Aqua City, it’s become a smash-hit in the Play Store so, read on to find out why.

Description:Aqua City is a game that focuses on a number of aspects but, deep down at the heart of it all is the qim to build the best underwater city that you can. As a Dolphin banished from Atlantis you miss your merpeople friends and as such, you band together with a number of unique characters to build another city in between where the merpeople and Dolphins live.

The game itself is based around the staples of the city building genre, meaning providing services, housing and special items in your city is essential to progression. There’s a money system and a leveling system that complement the game’s quest system well to deliver a satisfying and progressive experience for all ages. The quest system itself provides a clear-cut way to progress and gain more items and services for the city. It’s a fun game that will have you playing on your phones and tablets for hours to come and is great to play with others.

How it Works: Aqua City is a simple but satisfying game. In order to get everything up and going, the game has a swift and friendly tutorial that will guide you through the aspects of getting things done in your new city.

Once you’ve finished with the tutorial then the main controls are on the right, Shop, Friends and Edit are the main controls here. The Shop will let you buy from a number of items that range from housing and services through to Business and of course, a dedicated menu for Seaweed. It’s easy to navigate the store and your currencies – of which there are two, Squids and Pearls – are listed at the top to show your cash at all times. Below this is the Friends tab, this is where you can make a wishlist of items, look at leaderboards and when you have friends added you can join them. There are a number of ways you can invite friends to the game, by e-mail, SMS, Twitter and Facebook, it’s easy to find friends as well through Facebook. Finally there’s the Edit tab which is mainly used for drawing roads throughout the city – something I found a lot of fun for a feature like that.


Across the bottom of the screen are indicators that inform you on your XP, your energy, how many pearls you have as well as money and how much seaweed you have. To the left of this is the quests menu which, just like in many an RPG game, lists tasks that when fulfilled will help with progression through the game. It’s easy to get around the game and was enjoyable with a stylus to boot, definitely an easy game for all ages to get to grips with. It’s very accessible, indeed.

Opinion:I love City Building games. Love them. I was a massive fan of Caesar III back in the day and I love the Civilization series but, these hardcore games don’t work on a phone or a tablet – it’s a different setting and needs different games. Not to mention, some city builders are more boring than watching paint dry. Aqua City from Animoca however is a perfect blend of unique setting and functional gameplay. I found building my own Underwater Utopia rewarding and fun, for those of us that are big socialites this is definitely going to knock Farmville off your must play list. To be able to tie-in to networks so easily and even have friends come and join you is the sort of stuff that makes these games enjoyable for all players.

Having spent hundreds of hours building cities on various games it’s fantastic to see something that bends the rules a little like this. It’s obvious that Animoca thought how to best adapt a game like this to touch and they’ve done this swimmingly, the app has a colorful and fun background with fish swimming throughout the ocean making it an engaging backdrop to spend time in. This is going to a perfect game for you and the kids to play together on a tablet as the graphics scale well, the only thing you’ll have to worry about is sticky fingers!

Ratings

  • Speed (4/5) – On my old Nexus S it ran well on Jelly Bean, on my dual-core tab it was a lot faster, it’s not all that a demanding game and is smooth throughout.
  • Features (5/5) – This has all the staples of a city builder along side some extras that make so much sense on Android like the fantastic social features and unique setting.
  • Theme (5/5) – Not for a long time have I played a city builder that looked as much fun as this, it oozes fun throughout, it’s engaging to all ages and makes city building exciting again.
  • Overall (5/5) – Aqua City appeals to everyone and is a great casual game that will have you hooked without even realising it!

Pros

 

  • Fantastic and bright visuals throughout make the game a joy to look at alone.
  • Easy going gameplay makes for a frustation-free, addictive game that you’ll lose hours into.
  • City building games can be boring and hard to grasp but this was neither, a refreshing change to the genre.
  • The tutorial mode was a big help and didn’t take too long to complete


Cons

  • It’s a little finicky to play on a 4″ screen but, then again there’s not a lot of small-screened phones around anymore.
  • Taking a while to load can be troublesome but once it’s loaded there’s no lag whatsoever.


Tips

  • Be sure to play the tutorial through to the end, it makes the game a lot easier to grasp and doesn’t take too long.
  • Don’t worry about money, the game rewards you plenty of Squids and Pearls as you complete tasks.
  • Be sure to collect squids from the houses you have in the city,
  • Keep on top of seaweed production and don’t ever leave the field empty, services rely on it.
  • Don’t overthink too much and have fun!!

Conclusion: This isn’t just another city builder and it certainly isn’t just another game for those who aren’t massively clued up on gaming in general. This is a game that is genuinely fun, addictive and above all, accessible. If a game is difficult to play, who’s going to play it? Aqua City provides an excellent game for all ages and players of all skill.

It’s a good city builder with great unique graphics that give it a real unique look and feel, the currency and other aspects of the game come together to give a cohesive game experience and definitely something that you should pick up and give a try! You can find Aqua City in the Google Play Store here.