YootTower for iPad review

YootTower1 - for some reason we don't have an alt tag hereA few years back a mate handed me a bunch of old “Sim” games. You know the ones; SimTower, SimFarm, SimCity (2000) and of course The Sims. With explicit joy I played these games for days on end. Over the years, I have watched as these classic games have had ports and remakes done, often (at least for me) losing the magic of the original game. They also sucked, lacking the main functionality of the original. Key features lost for optimization. Recently I was very happy to learn of YootTower, a remake of the classic SimTower.

SimTower which was first seen in 1994 (I was barely a toddler) was my favourite Sim game in the 00s. By today’s PC, console and mobile gaming standards, the graphics are terrible along with the sound. But for me, it was always a favourite. I would find it every few months and give it a whirl, addicted until I conquered it again. So a few weeks ago (typically, right before my final exams for the semester) I found the remake. Ignoring the outrageous $9.99AUD (or $7.99USD) price-tag in the App Store, I purchased it. The rename to YootTower has something to do with the copyright of the name of the “Sims” franchise by Maxis, which is why it took me a while to find. The remake has been developed by DigiToys which is a Japanese company.

For those familiar with the game back on the old PC would find everything to be exactly the same (or pretty much) yet optimized for the iPads touchscreen. For those not familiar, the game is based around building a skyscaper, and filling it up with a wide range of services the sims require. These services all need to be connected with elevators – which is the difficult part of the game. Without a proper transportation system, the sims will get annoyed (stressed) and leave the tower, and you will eventually lose. All in all it is a great strategy game and after you learn the ropes you will pick up the way to win fast.

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Firing it up I was happy to see the familiar graphics and to hear the familiar sounds. There have been very few changes, which to be honest actually improved game play. Simple things like expanding services (like housekeeping and security) across an entire floor instead of placing a large number across the building made managing the entire building a lot easier. Also, the inbuilt help menu is great for beginners, covering all the topics.

One of the main problems with this port however, is the language. Being developed by a Japanese company, I have found poor English throughout the game, with a few display dialogue’s not being translated into English. The nostalgia outweighs this though. As you can see from the above screenshot, the English is poor. I was confronted with the dialogue box in the screenshots below on the left when a fire broke out. When I hit “Yes” I was given the dialogue box on the right…. “OK”. I was very confused as to what I was OKing when the screen on the left kept showing up. Turns out I didn’t have enough money.

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The game has 5 spaces for you to save your various games and supports multitasking which is handy. The game although being v1.1, has never crashed once – a real testament to the developers on such an early version. The main reason I bought this game, was for the nostalgia. Although this game is over 16years old, it did not disappoint. The $9.99AUD price tag was expensive, but, for a game that I have played for hours and hours on end already, I was prepared to make that sacrifice.

If you’re a fan of the sim games, then be sure to check it out.

[App Store | Digitoys]

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Stuart Cope

Stuart Cope is a former contributing editor at Nothing But Tablets, which was merged into Pocketables in 2012.

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