Tired of old-school construction games that lack real action? You're not alone. This very quote kicks off the description for Game Insight's latest release for Windows Phone, My Country. The game is essentially a challenging city builder with more content than one would expect. Players are tasked with developing industries, transportation infrastructure, hiring employees, eliminating ecological threats and controlling energy use.
Oh, did we mention you're building your own country too?
So what makes the game so beefy? I've personally never been a fan of city builders, apart from SimCity (curse you EA / Maxis for the latest SimCity mess) but My Country offers something unique on the mobile, which makes me want to come back and continue where I previously left off. I can easily see hours being poured into this title and I'm not alone as other consumers feel exactly the same with reviews generally positive across the board.
The reason it's engaging is the player isn't simply restricted to simple construction. The task list is fairly extensive, as mentioned above. There's the hiring of employees, management of energy and ecological threats, development of industries and transport. There's a lot to do in My Country. The result can be a complex, but well-managed country, but this can also be a downside for some consumers. My Country could be seen as too complex.
Some of the basics
Currency is used in My Country to purchase buildings, upgrades and more. Game Dollars funds the player with basic construction, etc. while Country Bucks are utilised for premium options, including the completion of tasks immediately - like speed boosts. Both currencies can be added to the game through in-app purchases, but this isn't required. Here are some helpful pointers to be a successful city builder in My Country:
- Build residential buildings to increase your city's population
- Open office buildings and upgrade them to employ more citizens and create higher profits - Develop industries, sign contracts and buy vehicles to transport the goods you produce
- Manage the ecology and energy use in your city by building power stations and parks
- Change the landscape: build canals, create lakes, plant trees and pave country roads
- Establish a bus transit network for your residents
- Gather collection items from the residents of your country
- Hire professionals to grow a forest of skyscrapers in your city
As mentioned previously, there's a lot to do. We've touched on the potential learning curve, but there are measures in place to help ease the player into the game. This includes a tutorial and 'ventures', which are essentially missions the player can complete to be rewarded with some XP and cash, as well as progress through city development.
The little things matter
While the game is free, there is the ability to purchase in-game currency to help with the development of the country. This isn't required to really get going and one can easily progress through the game without spending a penny. It can be expensive (with options that go over $100), so be sure to have security in place for the little ones.
You can download My Country from the Windows Phone Store (available for Windows Phone 8 only) for free. The high ratings and reviews from other consumers make this a title well worth checking out. Also, this is a game that's already available on iOS and Android which makes the deal that much sweeter.
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Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.