Virtual Villagers 3: The Secret City Review

By , on December 18, 2009

Virtual Villagers 3
Download on the AppStore
4 out of 5


  • Lots of intricate social puzzles to solve.
  • Easy to jump in and learn.


  • No real replay value.
  • Interface is uncomfortably small.


The only big disappointment from Virtual Villagers 3 is that many of the puzzles do require a lot of trial and error. This game is one for the long-haul, but it's also great value for your investment.

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Virtual Villagers 3 by Last Day of Work is the latest installment of the series that combines puzzles with a fascinating voyeuristic style of gameplay that takes The Sims and gives it a Survivor TV series spin.

A lot has gone in to transferring this game to the iPhone from the PC and Mac, but something was lost in translation during the process. The main set of controls only require you to drag and drop villagers between destinations, however this can be quite difficult as the menus, villagers and their targets are far too small for the iPhone's screen. Thanks to the style of gameplay, taking a bit of extra time is never problematic, but it can be immensely frustrating while coaching villagers in new tasks or attempting to spend your research points.

The game is set on a small slice of an island paradise that's beautifully hand drawn and animated. The villagers themselves are randomly generated and can have a very diverse set of looks, making it easy to keep track of each one individually. Most of the gameplay revolves around puzzles that can be solved once certain skills have been learned, but due to the realtime nature of the game this can take many real days to achieve.

Although Virtual Villagers 3 will require a large investment in time, your patience is dutifully rewarded with a personalized colony of survivors that you can play with a few minutes a day or during every break. There's a lot to get done and fans of games like The Sims will be right at home.


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