Pretty much everything you need to know about this game is revealed in the title. Per definition, megapolis (or more commonly used megalopolis) is a large string of adjacent, but not necessarily connected, metropolitan areas. It’s used to describe huge urban areas of the world that hold more than 10 million people. If you read or watched Judge Dredd, you might get the idea of what would happen if all the cities in a megapolis’ connected. This game, however, is not a crime extermination simulator, at least not in the way Judge Dredd does it. Megapolis is another city building sim where you can build your dream cityscape, a genre found more than often in mobile play stores. In this review, we’ll try to pinpoint the features that make Megapolis stand out from similar games.
As people say, even if you think big, you have to start small. At the beginning of the game, you start off with a relatively modest parcel of land to start building your city. If you ever indulged yourself in social or mobile gaming, you probably know the ropes of games like this one. Residential structures are among the first things you’ll construct, as they increase your city’s population with a click or a tap every time they’re ready. After you’re done with the population of your estate, you might want to build some infrastructure. You can mix businesses like restaurants, gas stations, and movie theaters with amenities like basketball courts. Many of those can be taxed on a regular basis, and all of them increase the population limit. Decorations also amp the maximum number of citizens, and you have Production buildings too. Unfortunately, those buildings don’t produce materials you can use to construct other things.
Another thing worth mentioning is resource structures, like water towers and wind turbines which produce water and electric power. Every building has water and power needs which have to amount less than the total amount you are currently producing. More advanced systems can be built to help out, but they require parts you need to get from friends or by spending Megabucks, which is the game’s premium currency. Every tax collection pays off in experience points, and you don’t have any limits in the numbers of actions you can perform during one turn, which is a refreshing reminder to the good old days of FarmVille. Your main valuables are time and money, and bigger buildings obviously cost more and take more time.
On the left side of the screen, the quests are displayed, which help you advance faster upon finishing them. Actually, the reward for finishing quests outweighs the normal rewards so much that you’ll definitely chase them, at least in the first ten levels, which puts the sandbox aspect of the game aside, at least for time being. With higher levels come more available buildings, unless you don’t want to wait and cash out Megabucks. Speaking about Megabucks, you can accumulate them while you level up, and some actions can be performed only by exchanging Megabucks, like land expansions. You can add your friends and help each other, or even better, pick up AI friends because they ask for nothing in return for their help.
None of this is especially revolutionary, but Megapolis has one feature that makes up for the lack of originality, and that is cross-platforming. You can actually have two separate games going on mobile, one that syncs with Facebook, and another hosted on Social Quantum’s own network. Both playing styles have their own advantages, on mobile, you have easier zoom and slide control while playing on Facebook is better for tasks like rotating and placing buildings. Cities look great on both platforms, so visually there’s no difference, and it’s all up to your personal preference.
Despite the fact that Megapolis doesn’t bring anything new to the table, the player base is expanding like a forest fire, proving that city building games are not going out of style anytime soon. I guess being a decent game with established mechanics is good enough. If you expect to be content (instead of stunned) by this game, I’d say you’ve set your expectations straight.