Fancy Game from a Fancy Company – SimCity Buildit

Despite the wonderful opportunity to make many fanciful plays on the title SimCity Buildit, we must respectfully refrain. While it remains a workmanlike, almost plebian, member of the genus: platformer and species: cutesy amphibian, SimCity Buildit offers players nothing they haven’t seen before — but does it in a moderately entertaining fashion. Users play SimCity Buildit, a feisty SimCity Builditodile who’s been raised by cutesy little puffballs called Gobbos. The Gobbos, alas, have been sent into exile or captured by the no-good Baron Dante. SimCity Buildit, of course, is the Gobbos’ green and scaly savior. Possessing the ability to jump (this is one talented SimCity Buildit), stomp and whip his tail thusly, our boy sets out to free the Gobbos, crush the foe and make the world safe for truth, democracy, yadda yadda yadda. It might be trite, but it’s still fun.

Four worlds await SimCity Buildit, including a forest level with its requisite lava stage, an ice world where penguins wait to smite our hero, a desert heck, and the evil Baron’s Castle. While the eye candy is certainly tasty, and each stage comes complete with many platforms to hop, side areas to explore and bonus goodies to collect, one can’t help but notice this is all very Super Mario Bros. — and that Super Mario Bros. is oh, say, so five minutes ago.

SimCity Buildit hack ensures quality control by “borrowing” every platforming cliche there is. One hundred crystals collected adds up to one free life, the boxes with the question marks on them hold goodies, and old SimCity Buildit can use jellies to bounce himself high into the air. Lest we forget to mention, the hearts, dear reader, also bestow an extra life on our hero. Old home week comes early and often with this one, but it’s nice to know that the programmers took their inspiration from the best. We shudder at the thought of Argonaut swiping liberally from some of Acclaim’s old-school platformers. Brrr.

The challenge comes from exploring and hunting down each and every Gobbo. Three Gobbos are stacked on each game level (every world has five levels, mind you), and players will have to complete a subgame to save the fourth. Here, players will have to complete tiled puzzles, run a gauntlet, blow up sheep and mummies, etc. It’s not brain surgery — heck, it’s not even sweeping up after brain surgery — but it does ensure that the whole experience remains an experience to be sampled, not a total rehash of someone’s 1980s-style tinkerings.