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City Rain

Score: 84%
ESRB: Not Rated
Publisher: Ovolo Games
Developer: m.gaia
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Puzzle/ Strategy

Graphics & Sound:

City Rain combines two of my favorite types of games, puzzles and city building. Each of these types of games have their own unique challenges, but when you put the two together, it gives you a totally new type of challenge!

A very important part of puzzle games is being able to tell the difference in the pieces at a glance, since you're usually under a time crunch. There are so many different types of buildings in City Rain, over 25, that I'm very impressed that they were still able to make the buildings look unique so that you can tell them apart at a glance. Not only can you tell the buildings apart, but they have even made it so that you can tell the upgrades apart and what level they are very easily, so that you don't accidently destroy something instead of upgrading it.

The background music and sound effects are really negligible in City Rain, but that's not a bad thing. Personally, I like having the option to play games while listening to something else if I want to. If you choose to listen to the built-in music, it's not bad. It's not memorable, but that also means that it's not going to distract you from the game.


In City Rain, you have to deal with the strategy of managing a city and the puzzle of pieces falling from the sky. City Rain has three different modes of play: Campaign, Quick Play, and Blockmania. I highly recommend that you start with Campaign as that way you can unlock all the buildings, which makes Quickplay quite a bit easier. Campaign consists of 20 levels. Each level will have specific challenges for you to perform. You will also need to make sure that you keep your agent status up high enough. To keep your agent status up, you need to keep the citizens happy. There are meters on the left that tell you how high or low your approval is in several categories: Sustainability, Jobs, Health, Leisure, Security, and Education. It's a real balancing game to try and keep all of these levels high at once. You can replay any of the levels that you have already beaten to try and improve your time (or just because you want to). At the end of each level, you'll gain a new building for use on the next levels and the other modes.

If you just want to play without worrying about the challenges, you should choose Quickplay. In Quickplay, you choose the number of rounds that you want to play (50, 75, 150, 200, or 300), the maximum time you can play (3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, 10 minutes, or infinity), the speed the pieces fall (slowest, slow, normal, fast, fastest), blocks (none, few, some, many, or several), and the size of the board (5x5, 6x6, 7x7, 8x8, 9x9, 10x10, or 11x11). The pieces will fall like in Campaign and you can still buy any special buildings that you've unlocked. These will really help you keep your approval ratings up. You don't have any goals to worry about in Quickplay. Instead, you just play until you run out of time, rounds, or your agent status (approval rating) is too low.

The Blockmania mode of City Rain is a bit more like Tetris than SimCity. Here the blocks will continually fall. You don't have to worry about the city issues. Instead, your approval stays high as long as you don't destroy too many buildings. You have try and rotate the blocks so that you'll upgrade as many buildings as possible and try to not destroy anything. It's a lot more difficult than it sounds, especially when they start dropping a lot of blocks at once!


At the beginning, City Rain is an easy game to play. I do recommend you start with the Campaign Mode though, because unlocking the various buildings makes the other modes much easier to play! You definitely need some of the buildings unlocked in Story Mode. At the end of each of the levels, you unlock a new building. Each of these has features that make the next level a bit easier to win. Honestly though, I didn't fail a challenge until I got to level 17. The first 16 were easy to beat and felt like an introduction to the game. For some reason, I had real difficulty on 17-19 though. They took about a day each to beat as I never could seem to get the population high enough. You'll find that for each challenge, you'll have to do things just a bit differently sometimes to beat it.

There is no multiplayer mode for you to challenge a friend to make things harder, but you do get an online ranking at the end of each level. If you want a real challenge, start trying to beat the scores of other players online. It would have been nice to see a lot more challenge levels though, to give you something to keep going back to the game to play.

Game Mechanics:

The controls in City Rain are very easy to use, which is good. This means that instead of trying to get the hang of controls, you can concentrate more on your strategy. You move the mouse around to position where the buildings will fall. You can see a green square on the board where the piece is going to fall as long as that is a valid place to put that piece. If the square is red when the piece is falling, you will either destroy the building that is falling because it can't go there or you will destroy the building that the new piece is falling onto, so you probably want to move that piece to a new square. To rotate between the pieces that you can choose, just scroll the mouse button. To drop the piece, just left click the mouse. When you need to buy a special building, just right click the mouse. (Q) shows you the mission, just in case you forgot what you needed to be doing in this round. As long as you play through the Campaign mode, you'll learn how to play easily.

Overall, City Rain has been a great game to play. I would love to see an expansion pack that adds in some more campaign challenges as I've found myself wanting more to keep coming back to the game. If you like puzzle and strategy games, I recommend that you check out City Rain.

-Cyn, GameVortex Communications
AKA Sara Earl

Minimum System Requirements:

OS: Windows XP Service Pack 3 or Windows Vista Service Pack 1, Processor: Pentium 1.6 GHz or Athlon 1600+, Memory: 512Mb, Hard Disk: Up to 600 MB of available space may be required, Graphics: From Geforce 3 (MX series not supported) or Radeon 8500 series (The graphics card should supports DirectX 9.0c and PixelShader Model 1.1), Sound: DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card. To install and use the online ranking, internet access in needed.

Test System:

OS: Windows XP Service Pack 3, Processor: 2.4 GHz, Memory: 3 GB, Hard Drive: 7 GB free, Graphics: 128MB nVIDIA Quadro NVS 140M, Sound: DirectX 9.0c

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