Game Insight has just announced My Country 3D. It's an updated, 3D-ified city building sim that lets you swoop around your creations, zipping from a bird's eye view right down to street level.
I got some hands-on time with the game on a recent trip to Latvia, and what I saw was certainly interesting. The rhythm of play has been shifted slightly, with a focus on little quests and personalisation.
The spaces here are enormous. You start with the core of a city, and can spread over vast swathes of land, stretching out to shoreline communities that need refurbishment and building huge skyscrapers.
There are various levels of customisation on all of the buildings, and the more intricate your creations the more they'll cost to put up.
On top of the large scale creation, there are smaller, more intimate things to deal with. Plants in your cities die, fire hydrants burst, your inhabitants get sad if they spend too much time alone.
Zooming in and dealing with these problems extends the tap-to-build play sessions and ensures you've always got something to do, whether it's sending out an engineer or picking up a gloomy gus and letting him play some table tennis on a roof terrace.
The UI here is simple and unobtrusive, letting you pinch and swipe to look around. Taps and long presses let you interact with the world, and the menus are clear and easy to understand.
The mix between sandbox gameplay and the way you unlock new buildings offers an interesting dual-scope, but in the early build I played the two didn't always gel seamlessly together.
My Country 3D wants to be the next step for the casual city-builder, and it certainly feels like it's moving in the right direction.
The game is slated for a release on iOS sometime later in the year, and it'll be interesting to see whether Game Insight can transfer its vision for the game into a truly engaging experience.