Fine, Megapolis is not the first City Builder game outthere, not even the first for facebook, but it does have some very unique features, specially the one being cross platform, that triggered some quick player virality and is now being played daily by around 4 million players monthly. Social Quantum decided to choose the title Megapolis (not Megalopolis, though it means exactly the same but without copyright concerns) where your objective is to turn your small town into a prosperous metropolis.
What probably stands out from this social game, is that not only you will play on Facebook. But you can also play in the same exact account in android or the iPad (or iPhone or iPod), cross-platform games are not very usual. Facebook is better when you are laying roads and constructing and iPad and Android are better to check stuff out (like collecting taxes and profits from factories.) You can save the game progress at any given time by clicking on the disquette icon on the right side of the top bar and then load it from other platform.
Alice, the advisor, will stay with you along the whole game both as a wizard tutorial and providing guidance for some in-game mechanics. Other advisors will join in as you level higher.
When it comes to in-game money, you have 1 soft cash, which are coins, and 1 hard cash, which are megabucks (a.k.a real life dollars). You don’t have an energy bar, but you will soon find out that time completion for some buildings and contract orders and running out of coins will stop momentarily stop you.
This city builder simulator does not work exactly like the classic of all times, Sim City (but does share a hella lot of other gameplay features and objects). Instead, you are given tasks/quests that get loaded in the right side of the screen like most facebook social games. You actually progress through the game by completing these tasks, and not just by laying out buildings (you actually unlock buildings AFTER you complete such tasks.). The map, for instance, seems endless and has “hidden quests” found in objects/sites spread along it (e.g “Water Treatment Plant, “The Beach”, etc.).
The Population Factor
To grow, your city needs people. You must construct more residential houses. This will ensure population growth. Each type of residence provides a certain increase in the number of people over a certain period of time.
A common feature or building category that is not missing on Megapolis are the Residential buildings, these are mandatory to provide your citizens with housing. You will notice plenty house types in the build toolbar. You start out with just wooden houses though. Worth noticing, once you lay out the building, you must “load” it with people. You don’t it a single time though, each house has a different waiting time for you to click and “load” it again to win experience and population. The City Halls comes very handy, automating tasks like tax collecting and censuces.
The next buildings category are Infrastructure buildings. We are not exactly talking about pipes and roads, but rather shops, restaurants and public buildings like Police Stations and Fire Stations. These buildings are also necessary if you want to grow your population.
The other side of the coin is that you collect taxes from those same infrastructure buildings you install, but they are not your primary income though. Taxes do not get collected automatically as expected, you need to click on the buildings once they are ready. Each one has a different waiting time to collect taxes from.
Decorating As Usual
Decorations: you may decorate your city with different outdoor objects such as flower beds, trees, or parks. They also push the population cap upwards, but you don’t have to keep an eye on them.
Factories are the ones that will yield most of the profit, you need to negotiate and order different products for each different factory, and once they are delivered, you can collect the coins from them. The more people live in your city, the more plants you are allowed to have. Click on a production facility to open the window with a list of available contracts. The higher you level, the more profit you get. Once you’ve selected a contract, the facility starts working on it (you can cancel anytime if you want to, but you will lose half of the coins you spent). If you wait for too long to collect the contract money, it will expire and yield only half of the money invested.
Following next are the “resources buildings” which are in fact Power Generation objects like Wind Turbines and Water Towers. The more housing/infrastructure your city has, the more electricity and water generation and storage will need. You cannot construct new buildings if there is no more power available. Also, if your water supply is insufficient you cannot add new buildings.
Megapolis neighbors are sort of mandatory if you want to progress in the game, for instance, expansions are unlocked either by buying it with megabucks or by getting facebook contacts to play the game.
One more feature Social Quantum added so you never stop playing the game are the already addictive Achievements (load from the trophy icon on the right side of the top bar). You obtain achievements by creating certain buildings, or reaching thresholds when collecting taxes or population limits.
Assets are items that are required to complete some quests to unlock buildings, and neighbors come once again into play, since you depend on them to receive such parts, otherwise the megabucks are needed to buy the assets.
Megapolis brings you updates quite often adding outstanding landmarks like the Petronas Towers, the Bank of China, the Acropolis Park, etc.