Simulation games are not everyone’s cup of tea, but developers of 2020: My Country have managed to design a massive city building game that’s simply too hard to ignore. If you’ve ever wished to be the mayor of your city, just so you could deal with your city’s problems more competently, this simulation game will be a good place to start. As the mayor of a small group of island nations, you have your task cut out for you and its all pretty exciting when you’ve got stacks of money and many exciting projects along the way. But once the cash dries up and civic problems start to rear their ugly head, it’s up to you to keep your chin up and manage your resources efficiently. Does 2020: My Country offer enough incentives for you to get back to the game once you take a break? Let’s find out.
Paradise Island Beckons You
My Country is set in the beautiful Paradise Islands where there are big sandy beaches, impressive headquarters, big gorgeous yachts, long waterways, and huge empty tracks of land waiting to be converted into a sprawling metropolis. You are introduced as the mayor of these islands, given a fad wad of cash and country bucks, loads of energy and the responsibility to ensure that you build residential apartments, open up businesses, set up industries, plant trees and shrubs, generate electricity, promote tourism and mini businesses, and ensure that law and order prevails.
Although you spend a lot of money to set up these various establishments, over time, they yield profits by way of cash and XP points. Your next job is to hire professionals to build or work on the various projects. To hire a professional you need to get three items related to the particular job. For instance to hire an entrepreneur, you need to find a folder, a mobile phone and a brief case; to hire a patrol officer you’ll need a whistle, hat, and a police radio. You can get these objects by buying them using country bucks or by doing various odd jobs at apartment buildings.
Office buildings are generally available for contracts and that’s where you make your money. For a small investment, you contract a building on a short, standard or long term basis. Short term contacts don’t yield much profits and are completed relatively quickly. Standard and long term contacts take a few hours to setup but yield higher returns. You could speed up the contracts using energy shots, but they are limited and regenerate very slowly, so you have to use them wisely.
Buildings constructed in Paradise Island can be upgraded and here’s where My Country gets pretty exciting. There are showy lamps to be added, palm trees to be grown, dogs to be walked, solar panels to be affixed, additional stories to be added, rooftops to be placed, celebratory events to be conducted and plenty of fun things to do. You can also engage in plenty of mini tasks such as walking the dog, greeting a neighbor, clearing rocks and boulders or even washing off the graffiti. And just like any old city, mishaps happen all the time. Buildings are flooded, traffic accidents take place, thieves run amok, fires break out, sewer lines get damaged and so on and so forth. And you are kept on your toes all the time. If you feel a little drained from all the working, you can take a free spin on a wheel of fortune where you can win free money, gold, electricity, trees and more that will come in handy for your many projects. There’s also a big social angle to the game and you can invite friends to play with, share gift items and compare scores with.
Cash And Bucks Are The Pillars Of The Islands
Money makes the world go around. In Paradise Islands, it is the little green wads of cash and yellow country bucks that matter. Cash is pretty easy to get as you play the game, but country bucks are much much harder to earn. You will be tempted to splurge some real world currency to get them and this is obviously where the developers intend to generate their profits. You can pick up 14 country bucks for just under two dollars and splurge all the way up to a hundred dollars for a little over 700 bucks.
Another important element for continuous game play is energy shots. You only get only 26 of them but plenty of civic woes mean they are barely enough to deal with. Three thieves let on the loose will leave you 30 energy shots down, so it becomes impossible to tackle the traffic accidents (4 energy shots ), deliver the urgent letters (5 energy shots), stop the flooding (6 energy shots) and deal with other mishaps continually. Energy gets recharged but quite slowly, and that again brings us back to consider IAPs.
You get plenty of prompts urging you to spend your country bucks for energy shots, and since country bucks are not freely available, you’ll be tempted to spend a few real world currency to acquire them. Game Insight have certainly made IAPs a very tempting prospect. The only alternative to earning energy or country bucks is patience. You may have to wait for hours, even days to earn cash, country bucks, or energy. And since every task requires an investment, and at just about every turn of the hand you get reminders to spend some real money, you may inevitably find yourself loosening your pockets.
It must be said though that the IAP system in My Country is well set up. It isn’t aggressive, yet it challenges and tests your willpower and determination to avoid wasting your real world money, while at the same time teaching you patience and perseverance.
Rome Wasn’t Built In A Day
Well, Rome wasn’t built in a day and that holds true for Paradise Islands as well. The key to playing simulation games is patience. Smart strategizing will also help. Knowing which projects to invest in, which contracts will bring in the best returns will help in expanding your city more efficiently. You will have to check back every few hours to collect your profits ( tap the dollars and a helicopter will fly over and deposit some XPs and cash as rewards.) You also have to wait to pick up certain special items needed for some of your ventures. I’ve been waiting to get a police phone for over 2 days now, and its turning to be very very elusive. Items needed for upgrading your buildings can be available in plenty (like a pickaxe I hardly have any use for now) or be completely elusive. You can feel a bit frustrated when you get a whole lot of tools you don’t need and you get a sneaky feeling that the developers are deliberately holding off the one item that you most desperately need. It’s all done very subtly though, and you have plenty of other things to do, or you could come back to the game at the end of the day, collect your profits, play with the dog, take in the views, chill out and then begin your quest.
Paradise Islands Are A Sight For Sore Eyes
Game Insight have done a remarkable job with the setup and design of My Country. All the game’s tools and resources are displayed on the screen. You’ll find your cash, energy, gold, and bucks at the top of the screen; pending tasks to the left and additional information about the game at the bottom. You can tap an item to learn more about it, scroll through the pop up for additional information. To renew a contract you tap the empty blue brief case above the building. Pending tasks such as unsent letters, broken pipes, or thieves on the loose will be floating around the screen waiting for your attention. Despite these intrusive elements, the screen space doesn’t feel overstuffed.
You can scroll all around the islands and find everything pretty well organized. The attention to detail is immaculate and the lush scenic view is a huge attraction to the game. The sights and sounds of the city are just as compelling. Whether it is the vehicles horning or the distant seagulls squawking, the developers have brilliantly brought this island to life. I certainly love the sound of the cash registers ringing in my ears every now and again just as much as I enjoy the sound of the waves crashing against the shores! And now and again, you’ll just leave the game aside to take in the sights and sounds of the islands. Too bad though, you won’t find any beach babes here!
2020: My Country Is Truly A Gamer’s Paradise
I’ve never been a fan of SIM games. Frankly, I don’t consider them worth playing at all. You simply don’t play a game in real time. There’s work to be done, kids to look after, girlfriend to take out… you know the drill…so why bother checking in to see if your police hat is now available so you can upgrade that darn headquarters! It sounds ridiculous doesn’t it. Yet, I’ve been playing My Country for over 4 days now and haven’t tired myself. There’s a certain satisfaction that comes from building a project, ringing in the cash registers, and building this city. There’s a lot going on, plenty of ways to do it in that certainly brings out the ambitious and entrepreneurial spirit in you. My Country is visually appealing, deeply engrossing, and utterly satisfying. And for the price of free, you shouldn’t miss out on your chance of paradise.