News you can use | Stop work. Build cities

News you can use | Stop work. Build cities

The end of productivity is nigh. Again. Veteran slackmeister Zynga, of FarmVille fame, is putting finishing touches to its new “social" game CityVille. Social games are titles that can be played online via a browser, through accounts on social networking sites such as Facebook.

In CityVille, you’re the mayor of your own city—which must be built from the ground up. It appears to be a pastiche of earlier Zynga titles. You build farms like in FarmVille, supply restaurants like in Café World, and peddle virtual goods with friends playing the same game. CityVille adds some interesting elements to the mix. You can start your local franchises in other people’s cities (like a Saravana Bhavan in Ghitorni) and build real world landmarks, such as the Eiffel Tower and the Coliseum.

All this sounds suspiciously like SimCity for Facebook, which in theory is a fantastic combination. It remains to be seen how nicely complex (if at all) CityVille’s economic model will be, and with game legend Sid Meier’s Civilization Network launching soon, Facebook games might just be able to cast off the silly veneer FarmVille and Mafia Wars has endowed it with.

CityVille is launching simultaneously in five languages—English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. For details, log on to or follow the official Facebook page.

Krish Raghav