SimCity Social‘s open beta first really started bothering me when I stopped playing it. And not for the reason you might think. Someone called me on the phone while I was poking around and still mourning the fact that “OppressionVille” was too big for the city name field, so I looked away from my burgeoning burg for, oh, 15 minutes. When I returned, nothing had changed. No tornadoes had struck. Nothing caught on fire. Yes, SimCity Social is a turn-based game, but that only partially robs it of the gleeful insanity that so characterizes’ Maxis’ most-famed of llama-loving city builders. After all, that structure could work if given proper treatment.
Here, though, it’s symptomatic of a much larger problem: SimCity Social is about as easygoing as they come. There have been (at least, after a few hours) no downsides to my actions – no tension or intrigue. Sure, neat things (like a UFO crash) occasionally happened, but they largely served to stuff more Simoleons into my jingling mayoral pockets. Well, until typical social game stuff took center stage, anyway.