Over the past few years, Maxis have tried their best to successfully to port SimCity to the mobile platform. SimCity Buildit is the product and it is a perfect example of that, combining the exploration and prerendered look of SimCity 2013 system typically found in PC. And despite a few rough edges here and there, this combination actually works quite well. SimCity Buildit got the great visuals RTS fans expect, a city building worth no other, and just enough surprises and intrigue to warrant a look from fans of this genre.

SimCity Buildit being free-to-play, the game unravels the story of one mayor. Drawn by visions to make a great city that will stand out among the rest. The players, they hope to discover the secrets and the best strategy to make it happen. And without spoiling too much, let’s just say that not everyone is exactly what they appear to be.

What separates Simcity Buildit from other games in the city building genre is its unique use of a more traditional RTS system. Unlike Cities XXL, where the simulation is purely managerial, SimCity Buildit relies on turn-based strategy. Typically this style of gameplay helps to add additional depth to a game. In the case of this game, though, the sheer slowness of the city building and the apparent lack of any really useful tactics actually detracts from the overall experience. In fact, the simulation are the weakest point in this game. Fortunately, they’re all pretty easy and don’t occur as often as they would in a typical RTS.

Now, Maxis is really pushing this title as “a journey into pure horror” or something along those lines. And while that’s not completely false, the game, for the most part, doesn’t actually provide very many memorable aspects or moments of the game. Sure, the features can get a bit disturbing, but so can the EA staff without enough sleep. The point is, don’t go in expecting RPG -type thrills because there aren’t really any to find.

What is there is a solid storyline, above average voice acting and an interesting, if mismatched, cast of Sims. Combine those with some highly detailed backgrounds and element of gameplay and the result is an simulation game that’s certainly worth going on. Needless to say, however, gamers who don’t care for the slower-paced, RTS-style gampelay system will want to look elsewhere.

Simcity Buildit Hack is a good attempt at marrying two genres that don’t always like each other that much and adding Simoleons and SimCash. In this case, the relationship is a bit rocky and has its fair share of problems, but the offspring are definitely going to be something to look forward to.