City Story brings Facebook-style city builder to iPhone

city storyTeamLava, the minds behind the FarmVille-style iPhone game Farm Story, is now taking the action to the city, with the release of a new Facebook style town-building game called City Story.

If you've played Social City on Facebook (or any other social city-builder games) getting started in City Story will be a snap. You, as mayor of your virtual burg, are tasked with keeping your citizens happy by building roads, homes, businesses, and more ... turning your humble town into a thriving metropolis. The more you build, the more experience you gain, which will unlock new items and allow you to expand your city. Keep cash flowing in by building factories and keeping them humming with work -- each job takes a certain amount of time to be completed, and when it's done, click to collect a profit. Then, start the process all over again. You can also earn cash and experience by visiting neighbors and tidying up buildings for them (five per visit)

Even though City Story is not on Facebook, the social network comes into play on this iOS app. You can use an in-game camera to snap a pic of your city, then post it to your Facebook Wall. The game is supposed to allow you to add neighbors using Facebook Connect, but that's not an option in my version of the game. Right now, the only way to add friends is by entering something called a Storm8 ID to add friends into your game. Let's just say, if I have to make the effort to ask someone for their ID to play a game together, there's a 99% chance it's not going to happen. A company rep says they're looking into the matter and will report back.
city story City Story is free to play, so there's naturally the upsell to buy virtual goods in the game with your real-life cash. Some examples of cash items include the Eiffel Tower (68 City Cash), a soccer field (15 City Cash) and a fountain (16 City Cash). Since there will be weekly updates, I'm sure there will soon be many more items with the potential to inspire a mini shopping spree.

City Story's biggest plus is in its presentation -- the game has nice-looking graphics, which makes it easy to manage your city, even while playing on the small iPhone screen. It also delivers a better Social City style experience on iPhone than the actual Social City iPhone app, which might be another reason that City Story is currently sitting pretty at #4 on the App Store's Free Game list.

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