Price: Free for a Limited Time
Cutetown San Francisco: Written iPad App Review
Have you ever tried to find your way around a strange city using blurry satellite images? Maybe you’ve tinkered with Google Earth just to become frustrated at the fact that all the buildings look the same. What if there was a way to create stunning 3-D replicas of city buildings?
Concept and Gameplay:
Cutetown San Francisco is unlike any other game I’ve played. Actually, it really isn’t a game at all. The whole idea is to build a digital 3-D replica of the city using actual satellite imagery provided by Google Earth. From small businesses to towering skyscrapers, nothing is off limits.
Even better, Cutetown San Francisco is a community effort. You don’t need to have a college degree in architecture to start building thanks to a detailed tutorial. All you have to do is work with fellow players to create the best digital map of San Francisco available. No more looking at fuzzy and discolored satellite images.
As far as constructing buildings, all you have to do is select a building on a satellite image of the city. From there, you’re asked to lay the foundation of the building by marking all of its corners. Once that’s completed, you can specify the number of stories your building has and you can begin to place doors, windows, and other aesthetic features. It takes a little bit to get used to, but this definitely isn’t a fast-paced competition. Instead, Cutetown San Francisco is perfect for casual users with an eye for detail.
One of the coolest things available in Cutetown San Francisco is a high-resolution map of the Stanford University campus. While this is fun to look at and explore, it really shows the capabilities of the app/game. Imagine other universities having their own 3-D map, created by its students. This could serve as the ultimate reference for visitors and students alike.
Another great feature of Cutetown San Francisco is the ability to sign your building so other players know that you created it. This definitely takes away the feeling of building something for nothing, and creating a digital replica of a major skyscraper can take quite a bit of time. Therefore, it’s always nice to be recognized for your efforts.
Lastly, Cutetown San Francisco requires a constant internet connection. Perhaps future versions might allow users to store data on their iPad so they can work offline and upload their creation once they’re connected to the internet again.
Cutetown San Francisco is currently available for free on the App Store, but the app’s description states that this is only for a limited time. I’m sure Cutetown San Francisco will expand to new cities as time goes on, which is a really exciting concept. If you’re interested in contributing to this awesome app, head over to the App Store and start building!
Cutetown San Francisco is compatible with iPad. Requires iOS 5.0 or later. A small expedite fee was paid to speed up the publication of this review.
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