My Country

My Country Game Review (ARKit)

My Country is the first Augmented Reality City-builder game according to its developer. I was interested in this game because I love city-building games like Sim City and Age of Empires. That being said, My Country wasn’t actually the type of game that I was expecting it to be, but it got my attention and it’s an ARKit game, so I’ve decided to share with you my experience in this review.

What is “My Country” and How you play it?

My Country belongs to the City Builder game genres. This game is based around resource management and construction and upgrading buildings. Unlike the more advanced city builder games, My Country has very little micromanagement and economic system.

The game, as of the time of writing, features 5 cities which you need to develop manage: Countryside, Big City, Airport, Train Station and Marina. There are 8 other locations that say “Soon”, so I guess those will be added in the future.

You start with ‘Countryside’ which is the first city. Your objective is simple, you need to create buildings that will make you money and use that money to upgrade current buildings and build new buildings.  The game gives you some money so you can buy your first property.

Using magnet to collect money in the game My Country
This part of using the magnet to collect money is immensely addictive.

Each building will produce income automatically and all you need to do is to collect it by tapping on it then Dollar icons will show up on the map, tap them to collect the money. When you progress, you’ll unlock a magnet that makes it easier to collect money when there are a lot of structures. With the magnet, you need to move the magnet (more accurately, the magnetic field) so it touches the building and than the money will be grabbed automatically and added to your bank account (not your real one). There is a very nice animation and sound effect when you grab the coins from the buildings, you’ll get addicted to it, trust me.

Once you have enough money to upgrade a building, the “Upgrade” button (green button with up arrow) will show an animated exclamation mark icon, notifying you of possible upgrade option.Some buildings will make you more money than others. There is an upgrade limit to each building. When you finish upgrading all the buildings in the city you get a production bonus.

My Country city building game in augmented reality
You will make billions, trillions, quadrillions, quintillions, sextillions and even more money, who knows when it will end with future updates.

There is also an option to receive production bonus if with the “Bonus After Party” option. When you click the Party area on the map (where you see people partying and see the completion percentage), you have the option to reset all your cities. You start from fresh but get production bonus for all of your new buildings. In the game, it says: “Reset your cities and being anew, but this time with a permanent production bonus!”. At the top, I see that I am in “Party Leve: 1”. I don’t intend to do that today, I’ve already invested quite a lot in the current cities that I own, but just so you know that this option is available.

Now, all of the game is like that, you buy buildings, collect money, upgrade buildings, collect keys, move to a new city then rinse and repeat. To unlock new cities, you need to get X amount of keys. You get keys when buying new buildings. For example, to unlock the “Train Station” area, I needed to get 25 keys. To unlock the “Marina”, I will need 28 keys.

The game also has some nice side quests which are involved in helping citizens find things on the map. This usually means that you just need to look at the map and locate an item or a person. Once you accomplished the task, you will receive some money for your “hard” work. It’s usually peanuts, but it’s a nice way to interact with the citizens of your city.

You can click the balloon icon at the top of the screen to get an overview of all your cities and how much money is waiting to be grabbed. There you can just tap on the city name to go to that city and use the magnet to collect your money. You can also see the cities that you are yet to unlock and how many keys are needed to unlock them.

This game can be really addictive because you always want to get more money, improve your buildings and move on to the next section. The game is very easy and not difficult at all, it’s all about spending time with the game to ensure progression, nothing more. There are no complex micromanagement, no economic crisis, no fire that destroys your buildings, just the same gameplay mechanics that I described earlier. As a fan of advanced City Builder games, I found it boring after some time. I really like the micromanagement and the advanced features in those type of games, which “My Country” doesn’t offer. This game is aimed for all ages and everyone can pick it up and play it (Rated 4+ on iTunes).

AR Experience

My Country is an Augmented Reality (ARKit) game for iOS. First of all, this means that if you want to play the game, you will need an ARKit-compatible iPhone or iPad mobile device running iOS 11.0 or later.

The game’s presentation is excellent with vibrant detailed visuals, You can use your iPhone or iPad to get really close to any object in the scene and see it in great details. I really enjoy that part. What’s even more amazing is that the sound change to reflect the noise in that area. It’s also very exciting to see the citizens aware of your existence when you get close to them and see how they wave to you and say “Hi!”.  This moment reminded me of the characters in the game ARrived, it was really amusing seeing virtual characters aware of your presence, looking at you and waving to you.

City builder AR game played near a window
The game looks good at any angle. It’s beautiful watching the airplanes cross the map and flying around the living room.

I really liked the background music, the ambient sound effects, and the fluid animation. I was also very excited to see aircrafts and helicopters cross the skyline, especially when I viewed the game from a low angle, not from the top. In fact, if you pay attention, you can see that the planes and helicopters are surrounding the map far beyond its regions, it’s so cool.

virtual airplane crossing the living room in augmented reality
Check this airplane out! amazing isn’t it? It crossed half of the living room (my living room isn’t large though)

Every map looks completely different than the other. The maps are small but they are interesting to view because of the high amount of details.

I enjoyed seeing such lively, cheerful and dynamic cities covering the table in the living room. I think the added aircraft animations flying outside the game’s map made the AR experience more entertaining and immersive. Yesterday I’ve played Reflex Unit AR, and although in that the game the gameplay also takes place in a square area, there were no outer-region animations and the AR experience was less interesting. It’s those small creative touches that can make a big difference in AR. I think the reason for this is that the aircraft animations surrounding the outer-regions of the map created a feeling of open space and makes the game blend in more seamlessly with the real world. The game suddenly isn’t just that small limited square space in the room, it takes over the living room’s aerial space.

it doesn’t matter how large the map is. It can be the size of the map as in Tower AR, with a beautiful large sea area and still fail to impress. It can even work better if the characters in the game can be controlled and take out of the game’s visible map region like in Twilight Pioneers: Dragon Arena game.

British cat near city builder game in augmented reality
My cat smiling to the camera 🙂

I personally think, and this is not just in this game, that the edges of the map should build in a more interesting way not just as a square. I think adding a more curvy look with different detailed items around the edges will make the map blend better with the environment.

One thing that I think should be optimized is that the UI should also rotate when you switch from portrait mode to landscape mode. Right now it only displays in portrait mode no matter what the orientation is.

Overall, my Augmented Reality experience was engaging, fun and satisfying. The spatial sound, the outer-region animations, the sound effects, the character’s spatial-based interaction—all crafted well to deliver a fantastic and cheerful atmosphere in AR.

Is the game Fun?

After read all that I’ve said above, you probably want to know the bottom line—Is in my opinion, the game fun to play?

My Country AR game at a very close range
The game looks very detailed even at a very close range.

The short answer Yes it is. The game is very repetitive and for some people, it might not be in such a good way. You find yourself repeating the same simple tasks of building and collecting money over and over again. Now, repetitive in gaming isn’t by itself a bad word. A game like AR Flip Knife AR is painstakingly repetitive but it’s still very fun to play. That being said, some of those games have some extra dynamic that makes them fun to play even after a long period of time.

After putting quite some time into the game, I felt that the game become tiring and I felt that I don’t really want to magnet more quadrillion dollars into my virtual bank. That being said, I know that by tomorrow morning I will log in again to grab the money that was generated while I wasn’t in-game.

The thing is that the fun part of the game is that you can virtually earn a ridiculous amount of money like from millions you quickly get to earn billions, and then trillions, and then quadrillions, and then quintillions and than sextillions and who knows where this will end. Unlocking a new area is fun, especially considering how beautiful the maps look in this game. It also does help to revive the experience, but it’s still the same thing, building, collecting money, building, collecting money and it goes on and on.

So my addiction got to a stopping point and after some time of enjoying playing the game for some time, I just felt that I need to stop. The thing is that when I woke up in the next morning, I saw that push notification stating that there are trillions of dollars waiting for me in the game. That moment I tapped it and went back to grab the money. What do you think I am going to do, let that money stay untouched—I got in and magnetized it, AGAIN.

The game is very addictive and I’m sure that even after I take a break from it, the developer will come up with some other cool mechanics that will make me come back to the game.

Some of you might not like it and search for a more in-depth City Building experience. In fact, I really want to have an ARKit game like that, but My Country is just not that game. It’s still a fun casual City Builder game that even a 4-years old child can play and maybe that’s one of the good parts of the game, it can entertain kids and adults alike.

After putting some hours into the game, I can’t ignore the fact that the game feels very “automatic” like you put everything on pilot-mode. It has very little interactions. It would have been nice to have an option to move buildings, decide which buildings you want to build, have an economic system and more variety in the way you interact with the citizens of the city. In that aspect, it feels flat and I even find it hard to categorize it under the “City Builder” category, although in some ways it is, As long that you put your expectations straight and understand what this game is all about, you won’t be disappointed. It’s a fun game to have installed on your iPhone or iPad and visit it from time to time. I know there will be tons of people who will spend many hours trying to see how far they can go with the party level.   I probably wouldn’t buy it as a paid game, but it’s a great casual game that you can play on your free time to pass some time and enjoy on the way. I actually enjoy waking up in the morning, brushing my teeth, taking a shower and then log in to see how much money is waiting for me there—almost a routine, you know :).

I recommend watching my gameplay video if you skipped it, just so you know what to expect. So overall, a really fun game, I did enjoy playing it and still do. I recommend watching the gameplay video I posted above just in case you missed it. This will give you a good understanding what this game is all about.

Conclusion

My Country is a casual city builder game with addictive and fun gameplay mechanics. The maps are details and the beautiful visuals, animations, sounds and character interactions make My Country an enjoyable experience in AR. It’s a game that looks great at all angles, no matter what angle you look at it. It invites close inspection and it looks good from far as it is from up close.

It’s great to discover the places and start building them from scratch. The replay value lies in the ability to start everything from scratch with bonus production score. It seems that more cities will be released in the future so those who are truly addicted to this game will have tons of time to get to even Centillion or who knows, maybe Googolplex numbers (1010100).

I find it really hard to stop playing sometimes and I have no idea what happens tomorrow when I wake up and see yet another notification that Quintillion dollars are waiting for me in the game. I really want to see how far I can max out the party level and see what ridiculous numbers will come across. I also really liked the photo mode. I already took some really cool photo of the city with my cat that looks like Godzilla LOL—It’s free on the App Store, get it and have fun, Recommended!

Click here to visit the game’s page on iTunes.

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