What do you get when you combine the classic action-puzzler Pipe Dream with the popular metropolis construction SimCity series? You get City Builder, of course! It’s a new puzzle game for Nintendo Wii.
Similar to Pipe Dream, you must lay pieces of road over a playfield grid. It’s your job to connect the starting point to the end point. After a while a car will start driving on the road, and you must finish before the car gets to the end or you’ll have to start over. You have a selection of five pieces that you can use, and can shuffle for new ones if you can’t find a good part. Just be careful not to shuffle too much. You can also lock down pieces before shuffling if you want to plan ahead.
Here’s where the city building aspects come in. As you lay down roads, plots for houses, commercial, and industry buildings will pop up on either side of your road. After you finish the stage, buildings will appear. Not only is your goal to complete the road, but you will also have to construct a certain number of buildings to meet your quota for each stage. So you don’t want to go too ‘road-crazy’ because you must plan open space for where your city is going to be. By placing roads strategically, you’ll be able to upgrade your plots for higher scoring buildings.
In later stages, after making roads you’ll go underground to lay pipes and connect electricity wires similar to the Pipe Dream style road-laying gameplay. These areas provide their own challenges, such as faster flowing electricity, for instance. You must lay pieces strategically here, too, because properly laid pipes and wires can upgrade your buildings even more! Later on you’ll have to deal with other obstacles, like roving critters and even UFOs!
Play control is simple and easy to learn. You mostly hold the remote sideways like a classic game controller. No gimmicky waggle-fests here! Some may be disappointed by the misleading title, as this isn’t really a city construction simulation game, but more of a puzzler. And for such a simplistic game, a lower price point would’ve been welcome. Even so, City Builder is a very unique take on the tried and true Pipe Dream puzzle game style, and the jazzy music is pretty catchy, too!
Reading skill is helpful for the text instructions, but most kids will be able to catch on pretty quickly. Some of the later challenges might frustrate younger gamers, though. It’s still a nifty puzzler the whole family can enjoy. City Builder is rated E for Everyone.