DescriptionSimCity Social combines the city-building and city-management gameplay of previous titles in the series with social features and a microtransaction system. The goal is to build and develop a virtual city. The player can build roads, homes, factories, attractions, and so on. Most of them need to have direct access to a road before they can be placed on the map. Erecting structures, with the exception of roads, costs a specific amount of simoleons, which is the game's main currency. Some structures also require materials in order to be constructed. Simoleons are usually generated by businesses and ore extraction, while materials are produced by the city's factories. Another important resource to keep track of is the city's energy. Most actions (including chopping trees, collecting money or building a structure) require energy, which is replenished slowly with time.
As the player gradually progresses through the game, gaining experience points, leveling up and increasing the city's population, different advisors will pop up with specific tasks that need to be accomplished. The tasks range from simple ones such as upgrading a facility to something more special, like erasing the inhabitants' memories. The player can advance through multiple chapters by completing the secretary's (Kristy Brown) tasks. As with most games featuring microtransactions, there is a shortcut when it comes to completing tasks, replenishing the energy bar or finding workers fast. SimCity Social's secondary currency, the diamonds, can be used to skip tasks, buy premium buildings, hire workers, avoid meeting construction/upgrade requirements, and so on. Diamonds are either bought with real money or earned in-game, albeit at a much slower pace. Leveling up and Spin City (a slot machine that can be spun at fixed time intervals) are some of the methods to earn diamonds.
In order to assure the city's growth, there are several other things to take into account. The houses themselves cannot be manually upgraded, however they will automatically do so when placed next to decorations and attractions (which give an area-based bonus to population). On the other hand, the farms, factories, businesses and attractions can be upgraded manually, but often require certain collectibles. Collectibles are earned through random drops when collecting simoleons and materials, or interacting with the buildings, such as saying hi to one of the citizens or test-driving a car at the local car dealership.
SimCity Social makes use of the player's Facebook friends list. As the city expands, some of those will move in its houses. Later they can be enrolled in the university and sent to work. If any friends are playing the game as well and have their own cities, the player can visit them. There, various good or evil acts can be performed when interacting with the cities' structures, which in turn generate fame and drop special collectibles.
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