Skyscraper City - built on your own HTML5-based game engine, the title launched on Facebook at the end of November, but is playable on any device that features an HTML5 compliant web browser.
By Randy Nelson From Inside Social Games
Skyscraper City is a game of urban development, which tasks players with clearing out slum housing and replacing it with new residential buildings, businesses, and power-generating locations. First off, slum buildings must be demolished, which requires multiple steps and consumes energy. Constructing new buildings in the freed-up space also requires energy. It will recharge over time, or can be refilled by purchasing items. Removing slum properties has the bi-product of rewarding players with the raw materials they'll need to build new properties. As they continue to play, players can obtain permits that allow them to build more than one level high, placing properties on top of one another, creating skyscrapers, hence the title.
Residential properties produce population. Businesses, such as coffee shops and arcades, produce money. Buildings require power, but also add to the happiness of the populace. If players buy power plants to offset their residential and business construction, the happiness level of the city will decrease, so players must place decorations, such as trees, ponds, and zoos to boost it. Players also have to contend with slum lords that attempt to rebuild their derelict housing. This creates a cycle of managing all of these various levels by purchasing the right properties depending on the situation. As players continue to build their city, they receive experience points. These count towards leveling up and, once players reach certain levels, they gain access to new types of buildings to construct. the game also offers up missions for players to complete for additional rewards.
Social aspects of Skyscraper City include send and receiving gifts, sharing news of accomplishments via viral channels, and adding friends so that their cities can be visited by the player. Players can visit their friends'cities from a real-time leaderboard at the bottom of the screen on a daily basis and, once there, collect coins.
Gamzee is monetizing Skyscraper City through traditional means. Players can use Facebook Credits to purchase Skybux, the premium currency they receive when leveling up and completing missions. Gold, the soft currency, cannot be purchased and must be obtained through the payouts of commercial buildings. The game's store, where players purchase new buildings and deco, offers a good balance of items that can be purchased with Gold, versus those that can only be bought using Skybux.
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