"Go Get the City Up and Running"
I'm going to ask you, readers, two questions. The first is: do you like city management simulation games? If so, then good for you. And the second: do you like playing such games on small screens to better maintain the delusion that you are the larger-than-life god of your little virtual realm? If you answered "yes" to this one too, then I believe you'll find that Virtual City 2: Paradise Resort will be a game worth playing. Here's why.
First thing's first, let's get something out of the way: there is a lot to manage in the many cities (or levels, if you'd prefer) you are tasked with getting up and running. Each level comes with a set of goals for you to accomplish, all of which require you to make use of the many gameplay elements at work in Paradise Resort.
The city management in this game begins with the transportation of products. In order to start spinning the wheels of business, you have to ship goods from suppliers (like grain mills, steel mills, dairy farms, and oil derricks) to factories, and then on to other places like malls and neighboring cities. You do this by buying trucks from each level's garage and then assigning them to a route between two facilities, which they will follow automatically. From there, it becomes a challenge of creating and maintaining an assembly line of sorts between facilities, using your delivery trucks to keep it going.
If that doesn't clear things up for you, then here's an example. Say your objective in a particular level is to deliver pies to a shopping mall. To get that done, you'll first need to assign a truck to carry grain to a bakery, while another one carries milk from a dairy. Then another truck has to be assigned to carry the pies that come out of the bakery to the mall. Successfully delivering products will land you money, which you can then use to upgrade your vehicles and facilities to deliver and produce more, respectively. And this, in turn, results in more money.
Goods aren't the only thing you'll have to transport in Virtual City 2: Paradise Resort. You'll also have to transport people. Often, a level will require you to carry people around in buses, and depending on the particular level, you will either be transporting them to work, or to entertainment complexes like malls and movie theaters. But people don't come out of nowhere. You either have to pick them up from an airport or a train station, and if none of those are to be found in a level, you have to start constructing houses for people to live in.
Speaking of construction, you will find, more often than not, that the facilities needed to complete a level's objectives are not there. And sometimes you'll find facilities that are not needed at all and therefore need to be demolished. This is far from a daunting task though, as constructing buildings or destroying them is as simple as selecting the appropriate action from an easily accessible menu. Simple as that.
On top of transporting products and people and building appropriate facilities, there are various other facets of city management like garbage disposal to occupy your time. In addition to your fleet of big rigs and buses, you will also have access to garbage trucks, which are used to keep houses and other complexes from getting overloaded with trash. Forgetting to get rid of trash will cause a building to overflow with garbage, leaving you no option but to fork over your cash to clean it up.
There are plenty of other elements in Virtual City 2: Paradise Resort that you need to keep an eye on, including the state of your vehicles (which can break down if left unattended), and all the various meters monitoring the number of your city's inhabitants, the happiness of said inhabitants, the number of tourists, and the environmental friendliness of your city, all of which need to be kept at a certain level in order to meet the various goals.
To sum up, Virtual City 2: Paradise Resort can have you doing a lot at one time. Sometimes it can get a tad overwhelming, what with all the vehicles, facilities, goals, and such. Thankfully, only a small number of the levels require you to pull off all that I mentioned above at the same time. Most of them are mainly based on one aspect of the management gameplay. That is to say, one level may have you focusing completely on manufacturing and shipping a certain product, while the next may have you concentrating on making a city as big a tourist trap as possible. Also helping to make this game more digestible is the nice interface that allows you to easily navigate the city, manage and upgrade your vehicles, and construct new buildings and facilities.
I can't honestly say that I have any real complaints against Virtual City 2: Paradise Resort, aside from the fact that it gorges on battery power (it can consume a third of an iPhone's battery in about an hour) and that the levels might be a tad lengthy for those who prefer a brief, five-minute time-killer on the way to work. Depending on how long it takes you to get your city going, one level can take about half an hour. If that hardly sounds like an issue to you, and if you like a good city simulator (and god delusions), then I believe you will find yourself enjoying this game. If anything, it will certainly take up your time, and your battery's life.
GameDynamo's Score for Virtual City 2: Paradise Resort (Mobile)
A writer, journalist, and aspiring storyteller, Peter Grimm has been gaming since the days of the Nintendo 64, and reporting on the goings-on in the World of Gaming since late 2011. His base of writing operations is located within the void between Here and There, or so he would have you think.
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