“City Clickers” Review
Boy, howdy, I do sure love being a midwife to little doggies and big horsies, living off the land like America the Great and God intended, eating barley and hops to brew my own beer here in the glorious Trump Plantation. Nope, no darkies coming round these parts anymore…
Are the farm boys gone? Oh, good, now I can make a “City Slickers” pun, a movie which my grandmother inexplicably owned on VHS and which I fell asleep to most nights. I still don’t know what it’s about, also as God intended. And by God, I mean some executive who thought that movie was worth spending twenty – seven million dollars on, only to be forgotten about under a pile of “Happy Gilmore” and “Jerry Maguire”. She should have left me them in her inheritance, so I can mount them on my walls to ward off real critics.
City Clickers is a game I am totally unqualified to review, as I do not own a single pair of jorts (for the city) and I broke my finger playing dodgeball (for the clicker). You play as the magic cursor which brings menus up to build stuff with, all alongside an isometric 1 – bit playing field whose fog of war is equivalent to about one tile in Civilisation 5. Along the way you find yourself in crippling debt yet bizarrely able to get a small loan of a million dollars at any given time. This must be the United States policy to government bailouts: throw money at it until something breaks, then throw away more money.
Another day at the dictatorship
While I can’t explain why I’m dissing the USA so much, beyond the unending rage felt by all Canadians at every hour of every day and yet having no outlet beyond taking their shirts off in public and complaining about gas prices, I can explain a little something about this game, which is that you’re going to have to build roads. A lot of them. And they all cost money, a lot of money, alongside the buildings, which also cost a lot of money. I’m guessing this is a satire on real estate? No, of course not, because indie developers don’t even have houses.
Every city needs a few things: a factory, a water tower, stores, and townhouses, because this is the Industrial Revolution and company towns are still a thing. What, they’re still a thing? You would have thought blatantly exploitative means of employment would have been outlawed, but I guess they can be happy they’re not subsistence farmers, or game devs. Of course game devs tend to be malnourished, which is why the creator of this one had a brain fart and gave almost no ways to make money off the town, which is blatantly unlike real – world landowners.
You could increase the rent, so long as you click on every individual house and update the rent every individual time, so effectively you can’t increase the rent because you don’t have time for that nonsense and your bones are too old to get all that clicking on. Oh, this game is also a clicker, kind of. When you select a building, you have to click on a button bunch of times to build it. Why? Because the game jam demanded it, even though it’s been sixty days since it ended and the developer is now free to stop ruining the extended three – year warranty of my brand – new, reasonably – priced Razer Mamba Tournament Edition Professional Grade Chroma Ergonomic Gaming Mouse, called “the world's most precise 5G gaming mouse sensor with 16,000 DPI with on – the – fly sensitivity adjustment” and featuring “Chroma lighting with true 16.8 million customizable color options”, now available for an extremely reasonable $69.99 at reputable Razer partners near you. Razer: By Gamers, For Gamers.
The developer says this game is still in alpha. I believe it. But even in this unfinished state, is it hard to have a menu where you can increase the rent of every house, and not simply whichever one you are not yet tired of clicking on? Is there a way to profit off our city that is deeper than simply setting the prices of basic goods and services, as our despotic dictatorship allows? Or are we just expected to use the infinite – loan technique, where we keep borrowing money until we run out of money, then we borrow more? Feels less like a challenge when you can keep borrowing money to pay off the money you owe. This works in real life. I swear.
If I had to sum up this game — and I do, because that’s me job — it would involve the words “SimCity”, “Clone”, and “Over – simplistic”. There is little thrill in developing your town due to the lack of agency you have over it, and there is no risk to losing all your money or having any revolts because you failed to give the little whiners their precious supply of water. Don’t they know they’re 80% water? Tell them to drink each other.
While the game is well – presented, the daily mechanics of coming to your town, clicking on every individual building, clicking on the button which makes that building, clicking on that button a dozen times until it gets made, is just not fun. I shouldn’t have to say it’s annoying, but that’s also me job to say. It is indeed tedious, hurting not just my fingers, but also my eyes. The game lets you choose from built – in colour palettes which are too bright, or randomise the colours in a button titled “DON’T CLICK THIS”, with results which range from clown vomit, seizure juice, or the 5% of tries which make something easy on the eyes. Is it so hard to let us choose our own colours? Oh wait, it’s game dev. Everything is hard.
I once worked on a menu which saved the position of what your last selected level was. I spent three days figuring that out. Thanks, Game Maker. And thanks to this developer as well, who reminded me of that time I spent playing a version of SimCity on the Wii and got the opportunity to fly around in an airplane, which I had a lot of fun with until I learned I only got two planes to play with. Of course I was bad at the main game, so I just loaded the presets and turned it all to meteor mulch.
A bit of a bad review I did? Guess I’m going back to the farm life. Yep, gotta get me that… wheat. Gotta make crops so I can live to make more crops. Sure enjoying that hot sun. Horses. Inbreeding. The life.