New App A Day: We City

With the release of today’s featured app, the iPhone and iPad are now home to three casual “We” games from Ngmoco: We Rule, We Farm, and We City. We City is cut from the same cloth as the other two, but rather than taking control of a medieval town or a farm, you create and manage a bustling modern city.

You can lay roads, plant trees, and build a wide array of structures, from houses and buildings to colleges and factories. To earn money for these projects, you collect rent and manufacture products like food and action figures. An effective tutorial walks you through all of the basics the first time you play, but before long you’ll be set loose to do as you please. As you play, you’ll level up and expand the borders of your city, as well as unlock new things to build.

But it wouldn’t be a freemium title without the option to pay real-life dollars. Ngmoco makes money in several different ways with We City. The first is through in-app purchases of Zap. Normally in the game, manufacturing products at your factories takes time. The more the product is worth, the longer you’ll have to wait for it to be produced. So if you want to expand your city quickly, you can apply Zap to manufacture products immediately.

The game also uses iAds. These are tiny banner ads that adorn the top or bottom of the screen when you access the menu, and they’re pretty unobtrusive. Lastly, We City gently urges you to invite your friends to play the game. You benefit from linking up with friends because you can trade manufactured goods with them, but sending out requests seems presumptuous.

Like the previous titles in the We series, We City isn’t really a game since there’s no goal to it. It’s more like a toy, something you can build and personalize and show off to your friends. If that sounds like a waste of time to you, you might be more interested in SimCity Deluxe, since it is very similar but has goals and scenarios. But if We City sounds like it might appeal to you, give it a download. Admission is free.