TheoTown Review – A City Builder for Mobile and Desktop

If you played the older SimCity games, you’ll probably recognise the feel and style of TheoTown. TheoTown is a surprisingly in-depth city builder game that originated on Android and iOS, before being ported over to Steam. I’m a huge fan of city builders – SimCity 2000 was one of the first games I played, and I’ve spent hundreds of hours on City Skylines.

TheoTown is an excellent game that can keep you occupied for hours on both mobile and PC. With no in-app purchases, you pay once and can play forever. In addition to this, various plugins can be downloaded free, enhancing your experience further.

TheoTown isn’t like other city builders that are available on iOS – it’s incredibly detailed and there is a lot to learn. Because of this, there’s a pretty steep learning curve. The game includes a relatively basic tutorial, which is enough to get you started, but leaves much of the game to learn yourself – for example, taxes, working with highways, and more. This means that if you haven’t played city builders before, it’s likely to be quite overwhelming. However, once you start getting used to the game, it can keep you occupied for hours.

All the basics of a city builder are offered – you can build zones for your houses, commercial, and industrial zones. TheoTown allows you to build ‘heavy’ versions of these which are more expensive but allow more residents. These zones have buildings built on them, that get upgraded, increasing their class from ‘poor’ to ‘rich’ – this is affected by their happiness, which is influenced by various factors. You can tax individuals differently, allowing you to set progressive taxes. You can also see individual buildings happiness scores, and see what influences them to have that score.

You can connect your zones using roads, which vary from dirt roads, to national highways. TheoTown also offers various types of transport modes, from road, to elevated trains and even airports. It’s really impressive the amount of transport options – it allows you to reduce traffic by using a combination of systems, and is one of my favourite aspects of the game. In Cities Skylines, I really like traffic management – and it’s possible to do in TheoTown too. You can create rails that span your regions, bus routes, metros, and so much more.

Probably not the best place for an airport.

Various special zones can also be built. You can build airports, military areas, harbours, farms, and so much more. Public services, such as police and hospitals, have to be built in order to make sure your citizens stay healthy. Waste disposal, water, energy, and dead bodies (yes) have to be managed too. This all really adds to the game, giving it much more depth.

One unique aspect of Theotown is that you can build huge cities. Essentially, your city is split into parts, and you can connect these parts with highways, rails, roads, energy, and more. This lets you essentially build a huge, connected city, and works well around the performance limitations of iOS and Android.

Regions in TheoTown allow you to build a huge city.

There’s a whole lot more to the game – I haven’t even scraped the surface. The game offers in-depth stats so you can see what you need to improve, from graphs to numbers in education. This lets you perfect your city, allowing to build more of what your citizens want.

Note the drop in vehicles once rail stations had been implemented. Detail like this is awesome.

If you ever want more content, TheoTown has the ability to download ‘plugins’ – essentially mods – for free. This is available on all platforms, so there are hundreds of extensions you can use, from new buildings to new transport systems.

The video below is a good overview of what TheoTown offers.

I would like to see the ability to sync saves across devices. I usually play on my iPad, so it would be great to be able to sync my city to my phone for when I’m out, or to my PC when I’m on desktop. In addition to this, I have struggled with controls – particularly with highways, and setting up junctions that feed of the highways.

TheoTown is an incredibly impressive game. It’s incredibly detailed, and will more than satisfy any city builder fan looking for a great game on the go (or on desktop). I really loved SimCity 2000, and this brings me right back to it. For anyone looking for an in-depth, engaging, and challenging game, TheoTown is a must have.

TheoTown is available on multiple platforms:

theotown-reviewIf you want a game to occupy you for hours, TheoTown is that game. If you want to scratch the city builder itch, TheoTown will certainly do that for you. An excellent game, that's available both on the go and on your computer.