Review: CityVille Hometown brings the Facebook game to iOS

Build your city and visit friends in this popular mobile/social game.

CityVille Hometown is Zynga's original town builder, but in many ways it fails to live up to the standard set by similar games on the iOS platform. While the mechanics are sound and the game runs smoothly, the tutorial, interface, and design all feel somewhat dated, and for those used to other village builders, the extra steps will feel cumbersome and unnecessary.

The goal of CityVille Hometown, like most games in this genre, is to collect resources, build homes, and generate more resources. You can visit friends to help their towns, click on various homes and buildings in your town, or interact with the citizens of your town to obtain new content or speed along the development of your city. At the same time, there is a certain limit on how much you can do in any one session. If you want to speed things along or access higher-level content at any point, you'll need to pay real money to unlock Cash, with prices starting at $0.99 for nine credits. This isn't required, of course; you can easily play and enjoy CityVille Hometown without paying a dime, but it will take longer and at times feel like a grind as you push to reach that next level.

CityVille Hometown is a good game, loaded with content, compellingly playable, and generally rewarding. It is not as energetic or playful as some others in the genre, but it makes up for that with charm and a general ambience that is relaxing as you play. For those whose main goal is completing the game, it will be a frustrating experience, however, due to the limits on what you can do for free and the steep cash shop prices.

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