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This is not, strictly speaking, a review. We don’t currently have an Android games section (although we might in the future), but that doesn’t mean we don’t play them. I, for one, was an early adopter of the Android platform. I still have my G1 laying around somewhere, and right now my non-PC time is split between my G2 and my Asus Eee Pad Transformer. The latter has replaced my old laptop in terms of reading books, browsing the web and other similar tasks. Of course I also play games on it; in fact earlier you might have seen my tutorial on how to get DOS games to run on Android.
When a representative contacted us with a review request, I felt it was a good idea to take their game for a spin and do a write-up. The game in question is called My Country and it is of the city-building genre. At first glance is it reminiscent of the SimCity games, and I remember thinking that it would make more sense if it was named “My City” instead. I haven’t played that series in a while, but I have a soft spot in my heart for SimCity 2000, which I played growing up. Because of that I found myself pretty eager to dive in and enjoy the experience.
The game is free, and although there are many free offerings in the Android Marketplace – most of them are decidedly sub-par. My Country therefore has the benefit of a pleasant first impression. Naturally, the purpose of the game is to build a large and profitable metropolis, which you try to achieve by placing residential and commercial buildings, roads, parks, et cetera. All of the above costs Game Dollars, and you start off with a substantial amount. A tutorial gets you going and before you know it you are the proud mayor of a few apartment buildings, a business center and a taxi company.
This is where things get different. Each building has multiple levels of upgrades, which cause it to bring in more money. When you purchase a building, it doesn’t immediately appear. Construction takes time (sometimes hours) and may happen in multiple stages. At the end of each stage your input is required in order to begin the next one. Business buildings, such as banks and factories, require professionals to be hired in order to operate. These men and women demand you collect certain items in order for them to work for you. A teacher, for example, needs a Book, some Chalk and an Attache Case. These objects, as well as myriad others, are dropped on a semi-random basis during completion of building upgrades or when you collect profit.
That’s right, collecting profits is a manual task. Apartment buildings bring little money, even when fully upgraded. Businesses can bring a ton of money, but require contracts, which in turn cost Game Dollars. Depending on how far you’ve upgraded any given building you can sign either a short term, a standard, or a long term contract. The length of the contract determines the cost, the money it brings in, and how long it will take to complete. Once a building produces a profit, you have to tap the profit icon, then tap the money icon to collect the money and the XP icon to collect experience, then tap the contract icon to renew the contract, and finally tap an item if one happened to drop. If you neglect to collect the earnings, they will just sit there while the building performs no useful function.
There is also another currency called Country Bucks. It is earned at very slow rate and is realistically meant to be purchased with real money. The purpose of it is to make things easy for you. You can buy items or hire workers, cause a contract to finish immediately, build and/or upgrade instantly, and collect all of the rewards at once.
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