CityVille Hometown on iPhone: Sometimes smaller is superior

CityVille Hometown
CityVille Hometown

I think we just found our CityVille killer--and it's not Empires & Allies. When we first heard word of CityVille Hometown for iOS devices, we were skeptic due to its lack of true Facebook Connect. As it turns out, I can do without a mobile extension of my CityVille web game. Why, you ask? CityVille Hometown is, simply put, a better game.

It's faster, looks far better through an iPhone 4's Retina Display graphics, has essentially all of the features its web counterpart and it's with you at all times. While the game has some issues connecting to alternate Facebook accounts and some crashes to take care of, CityVille Hometown will wow you.

Since the lot of you are already familiar with the CityVille web game, let's not bore you with the details of exactly how CityVille Hometown is played, but rather focus on what's changed. It may sound silly, but you'll notice that everything in Hometown takes less time to do than it does on the web. Strawberries ripen in 30 seconds, buildings only take two to three whacks and there are little to no pop-ups.

The game lends itself to those 15-minute play sessions that have become the norm in mobile gaming. That's also thanks to the game's slick interface that makes use of every last pixel on your 4 or 10-inch screen. Hometown's primary focus right now is on cultivating your town where everybody knows your name.


Each house you create in this miniature CityVille will be home to someone with a name, and someone with a purpose. Most businesses and community buildings you create in the game must be staffed by these characters that have moved into your small town. This creates a balance between population and businesses that has all but failed in CityVille for Facebook, because of its immense scale.

As for the elephant in the room, friend interaction in CityVille Hometown is certainly limited, but not by as much as you might think. Thanks to (limited) Facebook Connect, users can send their friends gifts that play either version of the game and likewise receive them. And when a community building is erected, you'll need to ask your friends for materials--just like in the original, but across both games. However, that's about as far as friend interaction goes in the game right now, though an upcoming train feature will allow players to visit their friends' mobile towns.

CityVille Hometown in action
CityVille Hometown in action

In a nutshell, CityVille Hometown will pretty much replace my time spent in the web game. This version runs more smoothly, is prettier to look at and has much better balance than its web counterpart. While it certainly won't be a full replacement for most CityVille web players right now, it very well could be as ZyngaMobile continues to update the game. CityVille has found a shiny new home on iPhone, and so have our thumbs.

Click here to download CityVille Hometown for free on iOS Now >

Have you tried CityVille Hometown on iOS yet? Do you think it's better or worse than the web version? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.