Virtual reality games allow players to get closer to their games than ever before. No matter what game a player is engaging with in VR, it’s much more immersive than anything you can play on a screen. This often lets players feel certain escapism as they take part in a brand new world. Little Cities is no exception, with hours of fun that you’d never expect.
City builders are currently pretty popular, whether in VR or on a standard computer. Players love to plan and then create a whole new city of people. The feel of constantly improving your civilization is a rewarding one, allowing players to provide for their citizens’ every need. That doesn’t mean it will always be easy, but completing your city is worth it.
Try Hard Guides has covered a few different city builders in the last month, so coming into this one wasn’t something to be excited about. That being said, Little Cities is different almost from the start. The game has cuter buildings than past games and the music is nice, if repetitive.
The contols are really easy to use and feel natural. There are very few moments where a player will accidentally place the wrong thing and have to delete it. Even when they do, they’ll only have to pop the undo button on the wrist. The ability to grab and drag the ground helps you move around easily too, providing the player with a smoot transition through the island.
The player starts out the same as other city builders, learning the ropes while starting a new city. As the player engages with their newly started village, they’ll begin to level up their island city, which will provide new rewards. These rewards unlock at staggered levels, teaching the player how to use a new mechanic each time they get to a level.
For instance, the player starts with a bare island and a few zoning abilities to use. Soon after establishing some residential and commercial districts, players will unlock the cell tower. This provides cell signal to all of your town’s inhabitants within a certain area. Once you unlock that, your residents will demand to have cell towers within range of nearly all buildings.
Where this might be hard to work with in other games we’ve reviewed, Little Cities takes the hassle out of resource management. There are no pipelines to connect or get in the way, instead the resources work in a certain radius. There are certain limitations, however, since residents won’t enjoy the sight of any of the resource buildings.
There are ways to play around this and any other problem that the game puts in your way. There is no scenario where you’ll have to just make some of your residents unhappy in order to provide them with the right resources. It’s all about using the zones to your advantage, like buffer zones to prevent your citizens from becoming unhappy.
It’s a joy to try and figure these things out with the tools at your disposal. At no time does it feel like too much all at once or like you’re being overwhelmed with the number of problems at once. The game provides simple solutions and becomes much easier the longer you play.
Another small detail that’s worth mentioning are the little figures that are moving around the map. Things like airplanes, hot air balloons, and other little features on the island. It’s reminiscent of toys that you’d play with as a kid. Even though they’re simple, these details add to the joy that Little Cities provides the player with.
After the first island, its easy to zone in bigger chunks without worrying about if you’ll need the space later. Once you start zoning in larger chunks and maximizing your space, your levels will begin to shoot up. As you unlock more items and regions on your new island, everything begins to fit into place. The second island provides a new feature to build on, and you never run out of those.
There are also new challenges after the first island. You’ll have limited space to upgrade your city until you reach higher levels. That means players need to learn how to maximize their roads to create the most space for zones and other important buildings. Doing one area at a time makes for a really cool finished product where you have a completely civilized island in front of you.
The hazards that the game throws at you are a new way to challenge the player without becoming overly complicated. The game throws something at you and you’re expected to deal with it using the tools you have. If you’re unable to deal with the hazards, you’ll be forced to face to consequences.
Little Cities has its issues, like any other game, such as the inability to go back to previous islands with new tools. When you unlock upgraded versions of emergency facilities, it would be nice if you could take it back to the first island and upgrade those as well. While it wouldn’t mean much in terms of progress, some players may enjoy the ability to further customize islands.
Many of the items in Little Cities are island-specific, which is unfortunate for anyone who may want to build with all the tools that the game gives you. Each island is its own challenge and fun, but they don’t amount to anything outside of their specific cities. If each island serves as a bite of the game, you never get the full meal at once.
The Final Word
Little Cities is a great city builder that provides players with tools and the opportunity to use them. There is a lot of freedom in how you get your city to level up, but not much else outside of that. Whereas some city-builders encourage the constant evolution of a city, Little Cities is much more about solving the puzzle of how to level your town based on different challenges the game puts in your way.
Try Hard Guides was provided with a Meta Quest 2 review copy of this game. Find more detailed looks at popular and upcoming titles in the Game Reviews section of our website!