Virtual City App Poster Image

Virtual City



Robust building sim doesn't get bogged down in details.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids can learn to understand and follow directions to keep a small town economy running. Monitoring time, income, environment, population, and happiness statistics, kids slowly build, maintain, and upgrade commercial, residential, and civic enterprises. Details and data are engaging but often hard to see on smaller screens. Virtual City is a powerful sim that gives kids opportunities to engage in simple simulated business and civic management.

Ease of play

As they advance deeper into the game, players will need to multitask, keeping multiple trucking lines running and upgrading properties, while keeping an eye on their bottom line. It can be a bit much for young or unfocused players.

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A link from the main menu takes users to a list of other games by the developer. Additionally, players in the game's "Sandbox" mode can buy additional in-game money using real-world cash. Players who install a free version of the game will have to pay to unlock the full version.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
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Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Virtual City is a city-building simulation game that mixes management with construction, and includes the possibility of in-app purchases. The game features 50 missions that are loaded with goals players must meet -- sometimes within a certain time limit. Successfully finishing a level requires players to work simultaneously on several of those tasks, all the while keeping an eye on the income levels of their company. The app also offers a "sandbox" mode for players to unlock that lets them create whatever sort of city they'd like with no time limits. The danger of this mode (beyond its ability to distract you for hours) is the ability to buy additional in-game money using real world cash. One option to buy $1 million in in-game currency costs $100, though lower amounts are available. The options menu, however, does let parents disable in-app purchases. A nearly identical version of the app is available for the iPhone and iPod Touch.

Parents say

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What's it about?

A stranded motorist is informed she has inherited a trucking company. She must manage her company well to help the city thrive. Kids tap on the garage to buy trucks and determine routes. Each level includes goals like transporting pies to a neighboring city or improving the environment with a recycling plant. Kids must repair and maintain resources as well as create new ones.

Is it any good?


VIRTUAL CITY manages to take the best aspects of the Sim City franchise and strip those out for a portable gaming audience. The game is challenging, but not impossible -- and gives players the choice between playing a task-driven game or building a city in any manner they choose. The game looks great, and developers have clearly taken pains to optimize the app for the iPad's larger screen in the HD version of the app. The larger screen makes it easier to control the game, particularly when there's a lot happening at once -- but it comes at a higher cost than the phone version, which is virtually the same.

Families can talk about...

  • Take kids to tour a local trucking company.

  • Help kids plant a tree in your neighborhood.

  • Encourage kids to plan and budget for gift giving or personal expenses.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire, Nook HD
Subjects:Hobbies: building
Language & Reading: following directions, reading comprehension
Social Studies: the economy
Math: money, statistics, subtraction
Skills:Thinking & Reasoning: analyzing evidence, decision-making
Self-Direction: achieving goals, effort, time management, working efficiently
Creativity: combining knowledge
Release date:December 13, 2011
Category:Simulation Games
Size:56.60 MB
Publisher:G5 Entertainment
Minimum software requirements:iOS 3.2 or later; Android 2.1 and up

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Kid, 9 years old December 28, 2012

Good But Could Be Better

I think this is a good game! It could go into more detail about everything going on, but I guess its still fine. It has some educational value because you learn what is important to build a working city.
Teen, 14 years old Written bydr duck January 25, 2011

Fun sim goes beyond where We Rule left off.

I loved it. It is a stripped down Sim City. But just as fun.
What other families should know
Educational value


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