CityVille is the latest game released by Zynga, the kings of Facebook games. CityVille is a city building following in the footsteps of the classic Sim City game series. City management games are not new to Facebook, there are already a whole host of similar games out there. Social City was the first real successful city manager. That game has been copied many times over in various different settings. CityVille follows the same basic game concepts as other city managers, and adds some of that Zynga magic to make the game the second most popular game on Facebook.
CityVille is all about managing resources. To expand and build up your city you will need money, but the two most important commodities in the game are goods and energy. Energy is automatically refreshed at one clip every 5 minutes. Goods are produced by growing crops or buying them from your train depot or pier. Goods are going to be the most important resource in the game so plan your city and your game around having a strong supply of goods.
Goods are important because they are used to supply the businesses you can build in your city. You can always make money from adding houses and move people into your town, but the big bucks come from running businesses. The best way of making sure you have lots of goods is to dedicate a lot of space to farming and buying plenty of storage space.
Most of the goods in CityVille comes from your crops, the longer the crops takes to grow the smaller the return. The fastest way to create goods is to plant strawberries that produce 15 goods every 5 minutes. The problem with strawberry farming is that it is very energy intensive. Harvesting crops costs one energy point per square and harvesting every 5 minutes will eat up all your energy very quickly. For this reason the best crop in CityVille is actually the eggplant. It is ready in one hour which is enough time to gain back 12 energy units. If you calculate in the tendency for added energy bonuses when harvesting you can sustain 16 – 18 plots of eggplants and harvest them continuously.
However, CityVille is not FarmVille so you can not dedicate all your energy to farming. You will also need energy to collect revenue from houses and businesses. While the income from houses does not require goods and will generate income for you no matter what happens they are still not a good income source. Rather, focus on building houses to grow your population. Higher population counts unlocks more bonuses and buildings. When building houses you should focus on population density rather than income.
The way to make serious money in CityVille is through businesses and franchising. Businesses return money a lot quicker than houses so the income from them can be substantial. Even better are franchises which are businesses that you place in your neighbors cities. Running a franchise you just have to supply the store once a day and then collect your profits.
Make sure you buy as many businesses as your goods supply can support. Maximize your space by putting in businesses that perform well. This means that they have a good return of money for the amount of goods they need to be restocked. Stores like the bike shop and pool hall are the best businesses on the early levels. Once you can unlock the cinema, make sure to get it, it is a heavy earner.
The most important thing is to keep your businesses stocked with goods. When the stock runs out the business can’t make any money. If you run out of stock it can be tempting to buy more goods from the pier or sending out trains. The faster the goods are delivered, the more expensive they are. Make sure you are not buying the 5 minute train route to supply businesses that have a return of less then 4 coins per unit of goods. Most of the early businesses you can buy have a lower return then this and they will lose you money if you supply them with expensive goods.
Another key strategy to running successful businesses is to place high quality decorations around your business districts. The best set up is to place a decoration and then build businesses in a circle around it. The decorations give a bonus to the money that is made from a business. Maximize the earnings by making as many businesses as possible take advantage of each decoration you place. With good use of decorations you can bring up the revenue of your businesses to the point where buying rush supplies of goods becomes more reasonable.