App Assessment: Pixel People (iOS)
Work your schedules around this new city simulation game that’s a guaranteed time-sink.
Pixel People is a city simulation game by local developer LambdaMu Games that builds upon the love of collecting blind-bag collectors’ items and the mystery of what you’re gonna get next. You run a city on the outer regions of space to rebuild civilisation (it’s worth noting that this game used to be titled, ‘After Earth’). Your main purpose of the game is to create jobs for the clones that come in, and by “create”, I mean you literally program the job genetically into the clone and they become whatever you want. The key to this game, and what makes it so addictive, is the element of mystery with that process.
The game starts you off with a Mayor and a Mechanic and it sets you off creating your first clone with the genetic material of the two jobs, creating an Engineer. You can then figure out that you can work in Mechanic + Mechanic, Engineer + Mayor, Mayor + Mayor or Mechanic + Engineer and that’s how the chain begins, creating more job types and eventually expanding the number of possibilities with a total of about 150 to collect.
Your working clones are dropped in the buildings built that comes with the discovery of a new job and they start earning you revenue in coins. Your coins go to the landscaping, beautification or expansion of your city. The former two are totally optional, but city expansion is critical to your progress in the game.
You are limited to how much you can build by a land limit. Reach that limit and homes for new clones or jobs that require new buildings cannot be built. Unfortunately, the price for further expansion in the game climbs really exponentially high that the output from your scrawny buildings will seem like a pittance earned, which then drives you to build more and then manage the city better, prioritising the guesswork of which job to create next to max out the efficiency of a building.
That is not to say that’s all the buildings are for. Some buildings have hidden talents, like the Utopium Mine you open early in the game providing you with some fresh premium currency every day (you use Utopium to speed up construction or to spend on other optional premium goods) or the Bank you eventually build that doubles the output of buildings with full employment.
Similar to the slowdown effect of Tiny Tower, the game makes you wait longer, as you progress further. New Clones will take 3, 5 then 10 minutes to arrive, along with the aforementioned land expansion costs that can reach past the tens of millions of coins. City beautification can offset waiting times and costs with discounts, but those can only do so much, unless you’re willing to spend money on IAP to grab yourself a handful of Utopium.
The game is cool to not pressure you into buying in, though. It’s just that it demands your attention every so often because some buildings only operate for 2 minutes a stretch before they need to be tapped on to continue generating coins. The game is also handy/creepy in that it doesn’t let your device sleep so you can constantly keep checking on it.
Not to mention that there’s a nice ambient soundtrack reminiscent of a Simcity experience and some pretty fine pixel art in the game so fans of that other time-sink Tiny Tower will feel right at home here.
As yet another Freemium title in the App Store’s extensive collection, Pixel People manages to stand out a little bit more with a slightly more fresh idea pandering to fans of city management and collect-them-alls. But be warned, Pixel People, with it’s constant need for attention and addictive nature, will seriously rob you of your free time. Prepare to say goodbye.
- The game is still full of hack-and-slash magic.
- Extremely compelling game that feeds on your addiction of collecting.
- Gorgeous pixel graphics.
- Constant attention-seeking may bother some players.
Download: Pixel People (iOS)