RamaCity

Game review by
Erin Bell, Common Sense Media
RamaCity Game Poster Image
Kids practice urban planning alone or with others online.
  • Windows
  • Free with Microtransactions
  • 2011

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Players earn rewards for helping citizens with random tasks, such as helping a mother find her baby's pacifier, or helping an old man find his lost pet. Players are also encouraged to send gifts to neighbors to help them out. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Each new "Urbie" that moves in encourages the player to build something new for the betterment of the city.

Ease of Play

Gameplay is geared towards casual gamers, and is simple and intuitive. Everything is controlled via left mouse clicks, and the player receives guidance about what to do next through tutorials and quests.

Violence
Sex
Language
Consumerism

A premium currency called Downtown Dollars can be used to speed up the game and buy exclusive items. Players are prompted to buy the currency (with real money) if they don't have enough Downtown Dollars to perform an action. There are ever-present links to the developer's Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pages.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that RamaCity is a browser-based building simulation with social elements like the ability to add neighbors and send virtual gifts. The game is free to play, but players can spend real money to speed up the game and buy exclusive items. Players can "friend" strangers, but there's no in-game chat. The game does have a link to an online forum where neighbor requests to strangers can be made, but that is optional.

User Reviews

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What's it about?

RAMACITY allows players to create a thriving city by building residential, commercial, industrial, and recreational structures, laying roads and pathways, and placing trees and other decorations. Each structure serves a different function: power plants generate energy, which allows players to perform more actions; residential buildings entice more citizens to move in, which increases the player's overall level; factories produce goods, which can be sold at shops for cash. Recreational buildings like camps and parks increase happiness.

Is it any good?

RamaCity shares a lot in common with other Facebook social games like CityVille, but the major difference is that it can be enjoyed without adding any neighbors, so privacy issues are less of a concern. Kids will learn the basics of city planning, such as not building houses next to a nuclear power plant. The game can be addictive, and players will eventually reach a point where they must either wait a long time for anything to happen, or spend premium currency to speed things up. The quests are shallow and repetitive, and don't offer much incentive to keep playing. The real fun comes in seeing the city expand and watching the fun antics of the well-animated citizens that populate it as they barbecue food, hammer and saw, and stroll up and down the streets.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about city planning. Why don't citizens like to live near factories, power plants, and other industrial buildings? Why is it important for residential areas to be close to amenities like stores and playgrounds?

  • Families can also talk about  online privacy and staying safe while online. Is it a good idea to accept neighbor requests from strangers?

Game details

  • Platforms: Windows
  • Price: Free with Microtransactions
  • Available online? Available online
  • Developer: Bigpoint
  • Release date: June 23, 2011
  • Genre: Simulation
  • ESRB rating: NR

For kids who love sims and online games

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