You must have played, at least once back in the days two iconic computer games: Sid Meier’s Civilization and Caesar. If you did, you certainly loved the games and still remember fondly the time you’ve spent playing them. Now what would your reaction be if I told you that we now have a new game available on Facebook, City of Wonder, which manages to mix elements from the two games and deliver a simply amazing experience for the player? I’m sure you’d like to hear more about this game, so read on my City of Wonder Review!

You will start with a small plot of land that will slowly become your civilization: as in any city management simulation, your main goal will be to build houses, create goods and keep your population happy. And happiness and the maximum population your civilization can have go hand in hand: the more happiness there is, the more population you can have.

But unlike other games, City of Wonder has a great way of “giving” you the population: you have to “collect” it by yourself by clicking the housing buildings you have and adding extra inhabitants – this way, only the active players will have a thriving civilization with tons of people. Add to that the fact that most of the structures you can build are limited by the population you have, and you’ll get a few extra reasons to be as active as possible in the game.

But the most interesting thing is the fact that in order to unlock new buildings you don’t have to have a certain level, as it happens in all the social games on Facebook, but you must unlock them by researching different technologies, in a similar manner to that of the Civilization series. For example, if you want to build a kiln, you will have to research Pottery first, which can be done at whatever level – 2 or 100! Even more, you have three advisors you can choose to listen to when it comes to research, or you can unlock the technologies in any order you see fit.

Similar to the Civilization series, the City of Wonder levels unlock new “ages”, from the Bronze Age you enter at level 5 to the modern age and, probably, futuristic ones. Unfortunately, unlike in Civ and basically due to the limitations of the platform, your houses don’t change the looks based on the age you’re in, so you will most likely have a straw hut forever in your civilization. But that’s not a problem, or just a minor one for the most demanding players.

The social element is also very well integrated in the game: in order to expand the borders of your civilization you need more allies (the classic neighbors), but you can also construct embassies in their civilizations in order to collect some daily bonuses from there (and vice versa). Additionally, you can help neighbor civilization and gain some extra coins and you can send them some free gifts, ranging from decorations to Legends. Legends are basically one-time bonuses that you can unlock for extra goodies: increasing the market output, decreasing the research time and so on.

There is also interaction with other civilizations in the game from people who are not on your friends list: you have some neighbors and you can wage war against them for extra population, trade with them for extra money or exchange culture. Any of these missions can be successful or failures depending on your ratings compared to those of the civilization you visit, so it would be best to try to focus and build a strong civilization in order to get the most out of the others!

Visually, the game looks wonderful and unlike Zynga’s games (FarmVille, FrontierVille) which get all clogged up and drive you mad with how slow they move, City of Wonder loads fast and runs even faster, so you’ll never waste any time waiting for a menu to open.

Basically, there seems to be nothing wrong with this game which is simply flawless and amazing – everybody should try to City of Wonder and I guarantee that you’ll love it! So head over to Facebook and play City of Wonder. Have fun!


  1. Flawless? Hardly. This game is completely monotonous once you get past the first few days. It turns into a game of micromanaging the amount of “culture” you have. The expenditures you have to put out for cultural buildings surpasses every other type of expense by a wide margin – there is no freedom to build the kind of city you’d like to, as you have to cram every free space with some kind of decoration or cultural structure. Forget about trying to build a city based on trade and/or military.

    Which is probably good, because the fighting aspect of the game is like a last minute add-on… it does virtually nothing for you, and it’s not even appealing to do, because it takes a long time to find an evenly matched opponent.

    The second currency (“gold bars”) has a ridiculous price compared to other games as well.

    If they don’t improve the game beyond what happens in the first few days of playing, it’s not going to go anywhere.

  2. Actually the main issue about this game is largely being overlooked. There was, until today, some consistency with the failure to obtain access that appeared to be as a result of peak time clashes between Northen Europeans and their cousins across the pond . However today has been the worst yet encountered, by me, for playable access to the extent that I am prepared to sweep aside the notion of peak times and blame the weather/gods/the colour of my shorts. No access to City of Wonder has been possible today 14th September 2010 in much of the UK but all other games and indeed Facebook itself appear to be stable.

    This beta version of CoW was released over a month ago and few cosmetic gameplay issues have been rectified and improved. There were denial of service issues which were firmly blamed on Facebook outrages and today while every other game appears to be playable and Facebook is stable, again there are denial of service issues, and these clearly cannot be overcome by pressing F5, or clearing the browser cache, or indeed changing the browser, these three solutions being typical of those apparently being offered by playdom’s “technical support”.


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