A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that SimCity BuildIt is a city-simulator game: You build an imaginary town and try to keep up with economic and citizen demands. As with many SimCity games, there's no sex or language to worry about, and there's no character-on-character crime, either, only natural disasters. But the game leans heavily on microtransactions -- small, in-app purchases used to buy supplies within the game. Creating the supplies can mean long wait times, which can try the patience of some players and might tempt kids to speed things up by spending real money. Parents, though, can always disable in-app purchases through their device settings.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
In SIMCITY BUILDIT, players oversee a new city, establishing zones for commercial, residential, and industrial development. To build properties, you'll have to create resources -- such as wood, steel, plastic, nails, and lumber -- in factories and stores. This is a time-consuming process that generally requires you to wait several minutes (or make an in-app purchase) for them to be completed. As you build, you also need to attend to the needs of your city's inhabitants and solve problems that affect your citizens.
Is it any good?
SimCity BuildIt may look a lot like a typical SimCity game, but it's more like FarmVille or any other popular, time-based resource game. Although the city-building theme is fun, this is yet another app that tests your patience by forcing you to wait increasing amounts of time for resources to be built so you can expand your town -- or cough up some real-world cash to hurry things along. If those waits don't bother you, you'll have plenty of fun with the game, but there's little here that stands out from other titles in the same genre, despite the app's well-respected brand.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about individual wants vs. the greater good. How do you balance the needs of a large group of people?
What are the responsibilities of a city government? Does this game really replicate what it's like to maintain a city?
Talk about budgeting and how it's better to save your money than spend it immediately on a whim. Kids: Which parts of this game make you want to spend money?
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
- Subjects: Social Studies: government
- Skills: Creativity: brainstorming, imagination
- Price: Free
- Pricing structure: Free
- Release date: January 16, 2015
- Category: Simulation Games
- Size: 97.70 MB
- Publisher: Electronic Arts
- Version: 1.2.23
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 7.0 or later; Android 2.3.3 and up
For kids who love apps about building
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.