With the success of CityVille, we've seen a slew of new city-building games released on Facebook in an effort to try and capitalize on the genre's success, which most games falling far short of capturing Zynga's spark. Yet another contender has stepped into the proverbial ring, as 6waves and innoWate have launched My Country on Facebook. My Country looks like an ordinary city-builder, as you're asked to build new businesses and homes, eventually expand your land and continue the process, but there's a real emphasis on complex micro-management, as you'll have to do far more than simply build a business to actually open it for customers.
As an example, let's take a look at the construction and initial operation of a Taxi Stand. Once you pay a chunk of change to start the building's construction, you can pay even more to speed up the process (or wait a few minutes for it to finish automatically). You'll then have to hire a Taxi Driver to actually work there, which requires you to collect profits from other businesses and homes until you receive enough randomly appearing collectible items to hire him (each individual employee requires three collectible items, only some of which can be earned by asking friends). One final step sees you actually starting a contract at the Taxi Stand to earn your first profits. In terms of other businesses, the process is similar, and will see you using the game's collection feature to hire new employees (turn in those collections), rather than the process being automatic.
The animations in My Country are plentiful, and you can alter your town's appearance by painting buildings in colors of your choosing to give it more life. You can even alter the land by adding square of water for lakes or rivers. These touches are greatly appreciated, as the rest of the game almost seems to be too complex for its own good. You'll quickly run through your beginning allowance of $650,000 by purchasing and opening just three businesses (as you'll likely have to upgrade everything to completion to finish the hiring collections for postal workers, businessmen, etc.), and there are some unintuitive menu screens that seem to contain far too much text without any explanation as to how to complete upgrade tasks while you're there.
If you follow along with the game's quest system, you'll learn about adding decorations, and ensuring that your city has enough power by building wind turbines, solar panels, and more to generate electricity. As your population grows, you'll require more and more energy, adding another layer (and another expense) for you to keep track of. Even decorations require you to have certain people working in your town, as you can't have a Pool without hiring a Lifeguard, a Cocktail Bar without a Bartender and so on.
If you're interested in a slow-moving title, where you can have as much control over your city as you'd like, My Country would likely satisfy your needs. Just keep in mind that funds are fairly difficult to earn at the start, and you can run out quicker than you might expect with just a single building. There's a lot of promise with My Country, even for its steep learning curve, and with a few adjustments, it just might have what it takes to compete with Zynga's juggernaut. With over 800,000 monthly active users already starting their own countries, it will be interesting to see just how high this one climbs.
Play My Country on Facebook --->
Have you tried My Country on Facebook? What do you think of it? Do you enjoy having a multitude of steps required for each individual business to be built, or do you prefer a more streamlined "one-and-done" scenario? Let us know in the comments.