Rock the Vegas iPad app, by developer Game Insight, is a near perfect blend of its city building predecessors, bringing classic town management to the iPad. Rock the Vegas not only looks fantastic, but features enough deep gameplay to keep the player involved for days—just don’t forget to leave the pokie long enough to eat, mates!
Concept and Gameplay
If you have ever been around such classics as Sim City or any of the excellent Tycoon games, then you already know what Rock the Vegas has to offer. The app allows you to create your own Vegas facsimile from the ground up, starting with a bare road and potential. The game throws you some money to kick things off, as well as a patch of dirt to dig in. From there, you start to build small outfits like motels and pubs before advancing all the way to the larger hotels and casinos for which the City of Sin is known. As with all good titles in the genre, you can also upgrade existing buildings to increase their revenue—which comes in painfully slow at first, as all monetary income runs on a set timer. It’s nothing new, but that doesn’t mean the game concept is any less fun.
That being said, pacing is a bit of an issue with Rock the Vegas. Though the game is not intolerably slow, you will not be able to sit and play for hours immediately. It isn’t long before funds run out, and you’re left waiting for the money to bake. If played strategically, this is hardly a deal breaker. However, there is quite a large jump between owning a few pubs and commanding a sprawling metropolis. For some this might be a bonus: Waiting certainly does build character.
Rock the Vegas is sporting an iPad optimized interface that looks simply marvelous. All necessary components are kept off to the side, including management services like road building and construction. Everything about the game relies on touch, which is fantastic given the device. Building new roads, collecting funds, upgrading units: All of it is a mere tap away. In-app purchases are pushed rather steadily, however. Considering the slow pacing, it’s often times a choice between waiting for in-game money or purchasing funds on the impulse. To say it simply, in-game purchases are readily accessible, but hardly necessary. Your level of comfort with that depends on you.
Overall Fun and Value
At the end of the day, Rock the Vegas is a wonderful new franchise in an excellent genre. If you enjoy this style of gameplay, then this free offering by Game Insight will tickle your fancy. If you’d like to give the concept a go, there’s no better way to dip a toe in. The game isn’t perfect, but the price is right, and the depth is nice, too.
Rock the Vegas iPad app requires iOS 3.2 or later. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.
The iPhone app reviews rating: