Say hello to CrowdStar’s new city building game

City-building has become one of the most popular types of game on Facebook, so you knew it was only a matter of time before a big player like CrowdStar jumped in too. Hello City launched quietly a few days ago and is still in alpha, but we have the keys to the city to tell you what we’ve seen so far.

Straight away, we noticed several things that set Hello City apart from other games in the genre. For one thing, while other city sims tend to focus on population, Hello City focuses more on the shops and businesses in town. Businesses don’t just automatically earn money after a certain amount of time has passed; but rather you need to assign employees to a shop and “open” it for business in order to earn money that day. Each shop requires a certain number of workers to be able to open, and you generate more workers by building more houses.

Hello City

You can also choose how long the business stays open, and this is measured in real time. The time increments start from five minutes and go up as high as two days. In other words, if you select five minutes, after five minutes of real-time has passed, the shop will close and you’ll be able to collect your coins.

Given the stories we’ve heard about Facebook game fanatics having to structure their days around when their FarmVille crops ripen and things like that, it’s interesting to see a game that is adaptable to players’ schedules and not the other way around. If you know you have things to do (in real life) for the next two hours, for example, you could just set your business to stay open for the next two hours so that your coins will be ready when you come back.

Hello City

Hello City” isn’t just a throwaway title, either. It turns out, the residents of your city are actually quite friendly. The Hello Game is a mini-game that you can play a few times per day to earn some extra coins. You simply click on one of the residents wandering around to make them wave and say “hello.” This causes a ripple of happiness to radiate out from them in a circle. If that circle touches another resident, they will say “hello” too and cause another ripple, and so on. If you get a cluster of residents close together you can get a nice little chain reaction going and earn larger bonuses.

Hello City is still in its very early stages, and no doubt CrowdStar will be introducing a host of new features and tweaks over the coming weeks and months (including social features, which we didn’t see much of yet during our stroll through town). Be sure to add a Gamezebo game alert to be notified the moment our walkthrough and review become available!