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By Christopher Mack | Nov 23, 2011 |

Build your own entertainment paradise in Vegas Life

From sparkling city lights to the clatter of winning slot machines, Las Vegas is one of the most memorable cities in the world. It also makes for a great setting for just about any game. Such is the setting of a new iOS title from Nubee, Vegas Life. A social business simulation game, the core of the app is relatively standard, but it attempts to make itself stand out with some Vegas flair and several newer, though simple, mechanics.

The whole point of Vegas Life is to create a bustling rendition of the famous Nevada hotspot. Like most games of this ilk, the play isn’t all that difficult. In order to make an income, players construct various buildings, and depending on its level, it will take longer periods of time to create. Once built, it will periodically produce coin for the player to collect which is then used to make more buildings. This is where the differences of the game begin to pepper the scene.

While the level of a building affects how much it earns the most, there are decorations that can augment that payout. Working similarly to the Facebook game of Millionaire City, any decorative item placed within the vicinity of a structure will increase how much it earns by a small percentage (it can also affect multiple buildings). In addition to this, players are also required to construct paths that connect each attraction with the main Vegas roads so that visitors can “reach” the building and it starts generating income.

Another difference comes in the form of the very important Vegas casinos. Unfortunately, this is a bit of a disappointment, as there are only two of note. Nevertheless, they play into part of the social mechanics of the game and allow players to assign friends to manage special events like magic shows and slots tournaments. These will last for a period of time, and reward users with hefty income. It is possible to assign the non-player tutorial character for the game to do this too, but multiple friends are going to be required, as after hosting an event, they are put on a cool down before they can be used again.

Since this is Las Vegas, there is a lot of chance involved in Vegas Life as well. For example, there is a bus station building that can be periodically tapped and will spout out any number of helpful items. Along with this, there are a pair of mini-games to play that can also earn rewards. There is a bit of a cheesy one where players try to identify which showgirl is different from the others, and there is also a roulette wheel that allows them to bet either coins, energy, or virtual currency (which is used primarily to expedite processes) and win more. However, these can only be played once every few hours.

Vegas Life

Energy, though fairly standard in social games, works a bit against Vegas Life. Typically, such business sims limit play by how long it takes to earn currency, but here both features provide limitations. Every action in the game, including collecting revenue, costs energy, so players are usually unable to do anything after about 30 seconds.

The other social mechanics of the game make up for this a bit. Not only can users visit the cities of their friends, but they can play a roulette wheel at their space as well. This one costs no buy in, and can reward winners with a small amount of the three previously noted payouts. There is also a moderate mini-game where players can try to find and catch “thief” NPCs that run about the town and drag them to a tiny prison.

Vegas Life

Regarding any further mechanics of merit, Vegas Life also shines (no pun intended) with its presentation. The game is vibrant and aesthetically pleasing, with virtually everything stylized with that Las Vegas flair. Beyond this, there is a nice questing system in which patrons ask players for help with things to do (e.g. building a specific building for them). It’s nothing groundbreaking, but it is a decent way to give short term goals to users.

Overall, Vegas Life is a strong addition to the social business sim genre on iOS. It comes with a core set of play mechanics, and mixes them into a slurry of fresher feeling features. Wonderfully presented, it’s only significant downside is that the double play limiting factors of cost and energy makes sessions disappointingly short. Other than that, it would be nice to have more casino buildings. It is Vegas, after all. Still, for fans of this type of game, Vegas Life is one that comes recommended.

Pros:

  • Brilliant and aesthetically pleasing presentation. Familiar mechanics mixed with more original nuances.

Cons:

  • Energy system limits play sessions entirely too much. Needs more casinos.

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