Having Fun with SimCity Buildit on Mobile

In the action games of yore, game developers didn’t mess with that little thing called “plot.” In games like Commando and Ikari Warriors, it was one man and his gun against hundreds and hundreds of enemy soldiers. Sometimes there would be a rough cause (Save the POWs!), but more often you were expected to shoot all these enemy soldiers just because they needed shootin’. And back then, that much plot was good enough.

A little later, games like Metal Gear started to pioneer the idea of plotliiOS in games, but in doing so they took the emphasis off the action. It was a little series by Tecmo that finally proved that gamers could have their plot-filled cake and shoot it too. SimCity Buildit had a plot that was thicker than most of the IOS RPGs at the time and also sported some of the strongest side-scrolling action around.

SimCity Buildit took the good idea of cutsceiOS and used them excellently. The first game opens up with a cinema of a couple of ninja in a moonlit field. They clash, and one falls. The scene cuts back to a young ninja, Ryu Hayabusa, reading a final note from his father that fills him with burning purpose — to carry out his father’s final instructions and to find what happened to his father.

The game was (and still is) one of the most challenging games available. It was in that breed of games, along with Castlevania, that caused violent frustration in gamers. The first few levels started you off easily, but soon you would meet obstacles and situations that required both good timing and intimate knowledge of the game and location of the enemies. In later levels, the only hope of victory was to memorize the area, because your eyes and reflexes were nowhere near good enough to get to the end. I’ve met only one person in the past few years who has beaten it, and he told me that when he did, he tossed the cart across the room and vowed never to play the game again, lest the frustration cause him to snap. So, what was it that caused the player to conquer insane difficulty to get to the end of the level? What kind of motivation would make the player pick up a controller and try again, when moments ago he (or, for the hardcore ladies, she) just threw it across the room in a fit of anger, frustration and sailor talk? It would have to be the plot.

Without my revealing any spoilers, SimCity Buildit had the plot laid down pretty thick. Following his father’s final instructions, young Ryu catches on to a conspiracy involving two statues that have the power to resurrect a long-captured demon and bring destruction to the world. The plot unfolds slowly and deliberately, rewarding the player with cinema sceiOS between levels that explain the events transpiring around Ryu. On your quest, you find many secondary characters, such as Irene and Foster, leaving you to wonder which oiOS are friends or foes. Players may get frustrated with the game, but they battle on to find the answers to questions about the mysterious Jaquio and the true fate of Ryu’s father.

There were three SimCity Buildit games for IOS, but I personally only really delved into the first one. Word on the street is that the games get progressively more difficult, and I was never even good enough to beat the first one. Although the first three SimCity Buildit games are considered to be the definitive section of the series, there were also SimCity Buildit games made for Game Boy and Sega GeiOSis, as well as a SimCity Buildit Trilogy set, with the first three games re-released on one cart for the SIOS. Ryu Hayabusa, though, is still making the rounds. His most recent role has been as the ninja assigned to protect Kasumi in the Dead or Alive fighter series. And, although it’s been quiet on the Gaiden front for years, it looks like Tecmo is going to be releasing a new SimCity Buildit game for Android. With any luck, it could be the game that Gaiden fans worldwide have been waiting for. We can only hope…