is a brightly colored world where you are free to build and decorate your own city however you want. While population and happiness are tracked, the game focuses more on giving you relative freedom from such tactical stressors. While you can choose from over 150 different structures, including more famous landmarks, you can choose to gift your friends with buildings they may or may not have. Because of this, City Story stands as more of a cooperative city building experience that allows you to either build your story alone or in conjunction with others. It even comes with updates that are released every week to keep gameplay fresh.
Virtual City Playground
is a bit more mature in its stance. Gone are the soft edges and pastels in favor of stronger colors and lots of angles. Its gameplay is visually very reminiscent of older SimCity games
, though it’s not quite as pixelated as those older models. In it, you are city planner, and it’s up to you to not only build the city but make sure it has the warehouses and manufacturing companies needed to keep stores stocked and businesses thriving. You can even set up public events to celebrate the city’s success with the citizens that made it so.While both are city building games, the two apps are extremely different. Where City Story
is a casual romp through slow, steady construction that focuses more on aesthetics, Virtual City Playground
is a realistic take on the demands of a flourishing city. While both allow you to build landmarks and otherwise place structures where you feel they’ll do the best, it’s Virtual City Playground that truly rewards or punishes you based on these decisions. In essence, it’s a far more tactical game that comes with over 500 different quests as you try and grow your city. Visually, this comes across rather clearly. Because City Story is more about leisurely building, its graphics are highly stylized, allowing for smoother car and people motions. Virtual City Playground, however, does suffer from clearly older graphics that can take away from some people’s experiences. All the same, both are nevertheless perfect for exploring different levels of city planning. City Story
is a great game for those wanting to tack on a bit more difficulty to their city building experience whereas Virtual City Playground is the clear next level up, if only because of the increase in statistics you have to successfully maintain.
Are City Story and Virtual City Playground good city building games? Yes. Both provide their players with rich worlds that can be organized and set up in a limitless number of ways, making each play through a different experience altogether. Beyond this, the two games work as compliments of one another. While the tactical game is enjoyable for strategical players, the rather slow pace of City Story makes it the perfect staging ground for absolutely risk-free testing of city building placement before making a commitment in Virtual City Playground. In the end, the best advice is to download both.