Megacity HD, a strategic puzzler from ColePowered, is now available from the app store. Featuring a building sim-style interface with pieces that interact with their surroundings, Megacity HD offers a cerebral challenge that rewards balanced play and thinking ahead.
Megacity HD Pros:
- Clever puzzler with lots of strategic elements
- George Gershwin soundtrack is relaxing, pleasing
- Tap controls work as advertised
- Leaderboards & achievements to earn
Megacity HD Cons:
- No undo button
- Lack of popular social gaming network integration is disappointing
- Can be difficult to differentiate building squares easily; value indicators are tiny
Gameplay involves placing a series of tiles upon a grid of grassy squares. The tiles represent various building types (houses, apartments) or customary city locations (train station, school, landfill, treatment plant). Each tile has positive, negative, or neutral effects upon the surrounding squares, raising or lowering the residential and undeveloped properties by a factor of one. Once the net value of the residential squares in the leftmost column meets or exceeds the target value, that column disappears and causes the remaining tiles to slide over to the left while filling in the rightmost column with fresh grass squares. You score points each time this occurs. Play continues in this way until all of the grassy squares have been filled and there is no where else to develop.
Similar to games like Pipe Dream, you are able to view the next 5 tile types in the order that you will receive them, giving you the opportunity to strategize the best placement options to maximize tile values. Minimizing the damage done by tiles with negative associations is the key to survival, as neglecting a section of the grid can be your downfall when those tiles are shifted into the scoring column. There is an element of luck involved with receiving the right pieces at the right time, but insightful placement and balanced play can keep you afloat during a spell of lousy tiles. As you progress in the game, the target amount increases and you gain XP that is used to unlock special tiles.
Graphically, Megacity is akin to SimCity, but the similarities end there as the game mechanics are completely different. We did really enjoy the way that the properties undergo a graphical change to further reinforce the improvement or deterioration of the location, and the tiny number value indicators are a big help in keeping things straight, although it can be a bit difficult to tell which are positive and negative due to their very small size. The game does have some charming animation, as miniscule cars drive around the roadways between properties. The upcoming tiles also do a great job of indicating how surrounding properties will be affected via red and blue squares that correspond to negative and positive value fluctuations. The soundtrack uses classical tracks from George Gershwin, which seems a bit out of place, yet at the same time can work for the game. Controls are tap-based, and squares are large enough that you shouldn’t make any mistakes.
Replay value is good, as employing different strategies can lead you to find a method that allows you to improve upon your previous high scores. High scores are tracked via local leaderboards, as well as a proprietary global leaderboard, though it would have been nice to see one of the popular social gaming networks integrated. There are also a number of achievements to earn, too. A universal app priced at $1.99, Megacity HD is a terrific 4-Dimple stud.
Megacity HD Review,