CityZen on Facebook: A CityVille clone joins the march
Look, Metamoki, we know you felt burned when Zynga took Mob Wars and spun it into Mafia Wars, one of the most successful social games to date. (And rightfully so.) But trying to beat the bigwigs at their own game is not the best route to a come back. In fact, it works to your detriment. CityZen is the second and latest game to come from Metamoki, and upon first, second and third glance it is an attempt to copy emulate CityVille. CityZen does introduce some interesting features like commute proximity when building homes and businesses, but its lack of features found in CityVille only emphasizes that this game is a clone.
Aside from the omission of Goods and focus on even distribution of homes and businesses, CityZen doesn’t do much else to differentiate itself from its more established … inspiration. If you’ve played CityVille, this game will come as second nature. Players must build businesses and homes in conjunction to create a thriving city. However, every business is directly employed by the population that each home provides–a business will generate money automatically after its employees are assigned. Each business covers an area in which, if homes are placed there, employees from those homes will provide a production bonus. This is the most interesting mechanic in CityZen because it adds a thin layer of realism, and it’s something Zynga can learn a great deal from. In fact, the company is probably working on an “adaptation” of it as we speak.
Of course, players are governed by Energy and can visit their friends to provide bonuses. You can even build Landmarks inspired by real-life monuments–just like in CityVille. But instead of requiring players to fill the staff of their buildings with friends, CityZen gives you the option of introducing players into your city through hiring them as managers. This will increase your business’s productivity by a whopping 25 percent and score both of you $5 thousand. Yet there is always a catch: If your friend doesn’t visit your city every day, they’ll be fired immediately. It’s not as expansive as even the broken Franchise system in CityVille, but it is unique nonetheless.
Despite the few attempts that Metamoki makes to stand CityZen outside of its competitor’s shadow, this game can’t help but be seen as a direct, almost vindictive response to Zynga and CityVille. If there is one thing developers seem to have learned–or we hope will learn soon–it’s that trying to beat the competition at exactly what it does best will get you nowhere. Not to mention it will do nothing to move the industry forward. Imitation may be the finest form of flattery, but it’s far from the finest form of fun.（Source：Games.com）