CityVille

Common Sense Media says

Facebook sim promotes friending strangers and paying.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

In-game quests are all "assistance" type quests, such as placing Stop signs on streets after you build an elementary school. Players are also reminded that helping a neighbor out yields rewards for themselves.

Positive role models

Some citizens who appear in quest texts are authority figures that encourage the player to do better for the town by building Community Buildings and encourage the player to run for Mayor and then Governor as the game progresses.

Ease of play

The game is simple, intuitive, and the tutorial is short and sweet. The game is played with simple clicks of the left mouse button, which does everything from selecting to building to planting and harvesting of crops.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

This game monetizes by the selling of two different types of game cash that purchase different things in game. Players receive a pop-up link to the game store if they do not have enough game coins to purchase items in the game.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A reward for an in-game collection quest is a tavern and another collection item is a bar stool.  Otherwise, there are no other references to drinking, drugs, or smoking.

Privacy & safety

Creates privacy and safety concerns. Players can progress faster in the game by having a large number of friends who also play the game. This can open up contact with strangers when players add friends through "CityVille Add" pages on Facebook. There is also the temptation to chat with other players (strangers) to request needed items in game.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that CityVille is a fun building simulation game that is played exclusively through the Facebook social network. It's free to play, but also allows players to buy in-game coins to advance faster. The more Facebook friends that a player has playing the game, the faster he/she can advance through the mutual rewards of interaction with neighboring cities. The game also allows you to "friend" strangers and chat with them.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Social Studies

  • citizenship
  • the economy

Skills

Communication

  • friendship building

Collaboration

  • cooperation
  • teamwork

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Learning Approach

Support

What kids can learn

Subjects

Social Studies

  • citizenship
  • the economy

Skills

Communication

  • friendship building

Collaboration

  • cooperation
  • teamwork

Kids can learn about citizenship and the economy as overseer of an ever-expanding city. Kids observe how different city sectors rely on each other: businesses are stocked with goods, selling those goods creates cash, the cash funds new buildings, which, in turn, increases population. Cooperation between Facebook friends is essential. Friends can send gifts, staff each other's stores, visit other cities, and even open up franchise businesses in friends' vacant lots. CityVille's emphasis on fun and socialization gives it the mass appeal that niche city sims lack.

This Learning Rating review was written by Erin Bell

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

CITYVILLE by Zynga is a simple building simulation game in which you to build a city from the ground up, by placing streets, sidewalks, houses, community buildings, businesses, and parks. You also interact with other cities yielding rewards for yourself and the city you interact with. The goal is to grow your city and increase its population. Franchising businesses also yields rewards for both parties, so the social aspect of this game can be rather far reaching. Friends who play CityVille do not automatically become a neighbor but must be invited and must accept to be included in the social circle.

The social aspect of CityVille is also seen in the sending of free gifts to one another. Players can send gifts to their friends, whether they play Cityville or not. Some gifts are decorative, while others are essential for the completion of buildings. Some gifts, such as Energy and Building Permits, assist in advancing in the game.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

CityVille by Zynga is built off its success with FarmVille, FrontierVille, and CafeWorld. As a building simulation game, it can be used as a tool to teach decision-making and simple economics -- which trade route or crop brings you the best yield, or which business is the most profitable if franchised, for example. However, the game can be very addictive as it provides very simple action/reaction type rewards. Interaction with another city can reward the player with coins, experience points, reputation points, energy, and resources. Energy is the most important item in the game as most click actions require energy, including building anything, collecting rents, and even harvesting crops.

You gain energy over time and can earn it by visiting neighbors, having it be gifted, or buying it (with real money). In the early stages of the game, where a player might have only 10 buildings and farm plots to interact with, this is hardly an issue, but as the player's city grows, the need for energy becomes more urgent. Players will either have to create a large circle of neighbors or purchase energy in order to advance in the game -- the former can create privacy problems if players "friend" strangers.

 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about online privacy and staying safe while online. Why do you want to add so many friends when you don't know these people? Can the game be played without 50 other friends?

  • Families can also talk about the privacy features on Facebook that can be used to prevent strangers from reading their posts and seeing their photographs. Player might want to create a separate list, adding people onto it that are barred from seeing photographs, and setting the chat function to offline to prevent unwanted contact.

  • Families can also discuss actual city planning. Is it a good idea to build a Tavern and Pool Hall next to the elementary school and playground?  Why is it a good idea to have greenspace in a city? 

Game details

Platforms:Facebook
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Zynga
Release date:December 1, 2010
Genre:Simulation
ESRB rating:NR for Not Rated (Facebook)

This review of CityVille was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written byJacobTheGreat2 August 1, 2011
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Builders are Awesome!

You build from police stations, bungalows, toy stores, and more. You also need to make and deliver goods to businesses which makes the game more realistic. There are some criticisms. You need energy to do most of the stuff in the and you have a very limited amount. Community buildings will always require you to get materials and hire people to work. Which you can get through your friends, or buy with something called "cash." The only two ways to get it is either level up, or buy. If I were you, and I wanted cash, I would head to the nearest Gamestop and buy a $25 dollar cash card rather then buy online for security reasons. The only reason why I listed it 13 though is because you have to be 13 years or older to get a Facebook account.

What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Too much consumerism
Kid, 10 years old Written byWafflesDelicious February 1, 2011
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

I LOVE THIS GAME!! i think it's really fun. you can build houses and stores and it is really awesome!!

Teen, 17 years old Written byMixk July 16, 2011
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

City

This game is fun once you get started and of course do not join Facebook unless you are 13.

What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages

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