Game Info:

City Rain
Developed By: Mother Gaia
Published By: Ovolo Corporation
Available on PC
Relase Date: December 2009
ESRB Rating: E
Single Player with online score charts
Retail Price $9.95

Thank you GamersGate for giving us a review copy!

City Rain is a unique city development game which is best described as an environmentally friendly Sim City meets Tetris. You’re job as an elite environmental swat force is to design eco-friendly cities with random buildings thrown at you. There are three game play modes: Campaign, Quick Play, and Block Mania. Block Mania is the most like Tetris where you have to quickly piece together building segments without destroying other buildings in place.

The other two modes are more complex since you have to pay attention to details such as security, jobs, health, sustainability, leisure and education. In the campaign mode you work your way up the ranks of the Rescue And Intervention Non-profit (RAIN) organization. You must rescue cities on the WEPA blacklist and battle Bane Industries to keep them environmentally sound. After you save a city, you will unlock a new building/technology to use on future missions.

Strengths: fast paced, fun gameplay
Weaknesses: Game crashes
Moral Warnings: Nothing bad to report..very environmental activist friendly

There are twenty campaign missions which get progressively more difficult as you play through them. When a mission starts you’ll see what objectives must be accomplished and what the reward will be. A couple of common objectives involve saving a certain amount of money and building specific structures like a garden, environmental police station, forest restoration sites and so on. If you’re fast, you can get a free move in before you see the mission objectives. I typically start off by making a land fill. Some of the missions are timed and others only allot you a certain number of turns. In either case you have to think quickly. There are two types of buildings, ones that you have to buy and others that are given to you. The ones that are given to you often give you a limited selection to choose from. You can select the buildings by scrolling your mouse wheel.

The buildings that are forced on you include residences, shopping centers, factories, police stations, hospitals, landfills, schools, power plants, parks, and more. The structures you can buy include fire stations, water treatment plants, recycling centers, banks, sub ways, gardens, reforestation sites, environmental police, environmental headquarters, and so on. Many of the structures will boost the statistics; for example, the fire station will raise the security and the factory will raise the job meter. Some of the structures you can buy will alter the game play. For example the engineering tower will allow you to stack even more buildings on top of each other. With the engineering tower in place instead of doubling the houses you can stack up to five and make skyscrapers. The Urban Development Center is a handy building that lets you go back without having to restart the whole mission. Usually missions have several scenarios so if you mess up and can backtrack to the previous scenario, that’s very helpful indeed.
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 78%
Game Play: 16/20
Graphics: 7/10
Sound: 8/10
Stability: 3/5
Controls: 5/5

Morality Score - 100%
Violence - 10/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

The quick play mode doesn’t have any objectives other than keeping your citizens happy, healthy, employed, and safe. If those status bars deplete, the game is over. Before you begin you can specify how large of a grid you want to work with and adjust other options as well. Just like the campaign mode, you can purchase special buildings to make your city thrive. If your score is high enough, your name will be listed on the online score charts.

One thing that was frustrating was that this game would randomly crash on me. This is especially frustrating if you’re far into a mission and nearly completing it. I’m running version 1.1 and I don’t see any patches available to download.

Graphically this game is 2D and is colorful and detailed. The game runs at a set resolution and there are no options to change it. Since the resolution was wrong for my LCD it looked a little blurry.

The music is pleasant and catchy. According to the splash screen at start up, the tracks seem to be from premiumbeat.com. There is no voice acting but the sound effects are good.

From an appropriateness standpoint there’s nothing wrong with this game. If you don’t have enough police stations there will be violence but you won’t see it happening. The environmental message is a little strong for my taste but that’s just me.

Overall this is a cute and fun game for less than ten dollars. After you beat the campaign you can still do quick play and Brick Mania. You can even replay the campaign and see if you can complete the missions in better time. The online score board offers a nice carrot for those competitive gamers out there. If you like Tetris, Sim-City or the environment, I recommend checking the demo out.

About the Author

Cheryl Gress

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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