Suburbia is a modern social RPG that simulates the seemingly beautiful yet complex suburban life rife with secrets and skeletons in the cupboard. A mix of role-playing, simulation and adventure, the game is going to lead you into a new life and an unusual experience.
A luxurious neighborhood and an unsolved case of missing rock star set the stage for the drama of Suburbia. Inheriting an old house your uncle James won from a poker game, you arrive at Libertine Heights of Lakeview and start your new life in the suburbia. The strange warning of “be alert” in your uncle’s letter, the policy tape that wrap your new home’s door and the missing rock star who owned the house you learn from gossip of a neighbor are omens of bad events. But those do not unnerve you. You stay and unwittingly enter a new detective-style life and the mysterious stories of your neighbors.
Your new home is in bad repair with stained floor tiles, scattering litter and a garden with overgrown grass. You have a lot of work to do to get it fixed up and properly furnished. Clear the garbage around, mow the lawn, change the floor tiles for bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, etc. and purchase the rich variety of furniture from the essential to the luxuries. And you also interact with the furniture you purchased and placed at home to collect the smiley face, the mood that are expended to work for cash. Then, you can invest your cash in the home decoration again.
If home building is all that Suburbia offers, it would be a boring experience you will lose interest very quickly. Thankfully, it is not. The game weaves the chores of home building in the midst of the captive mysterious adventure. While some neighbors will come by for chat in coffee offering advice about home decoration, they also invite you into more thrilling stories like opening a suspicious neighbor’s gate with a skeleton key and digging up his tulip patches for clue (maybe a dead body!).
You will meet an ever-expanding roster of neighbors in the game from the gossipy Natalia to sad Ned and from vigilant Maria to fishy Aiden. As you unlock new chapters, you get to know new neighbors and learn the slice of life of every person. The missing rock star loved by more than one woman, the jealous husbands, the running away wife, the dead body buried in the tulip patches, the wandering teenagers around and more – by doing quests you will gather pieces of facts gradually and put them together to unveil the mystery of Libertine Heights.
Building a fancy home and poking your nose around are interwoven. Home decoration earns you luxury value to unlock new chapters and quests in new chapter are the major way of earning cash that is used in home building in turn. You will have fun in the intriguing quests full of suspension and drama and perhaps are eager to know the truth in every family there. But you can only go as far as the Energy allows in your detective life style.
As usual, the bar of 15 energy points sets the pace for free gamers. All moves in Suburbia – clear, chat, collect, build, unpack, dig, grill, search, visit, etc. – consume energy and drain it quickly. When you run out of them, you have to wait for the slow refill unless you choose the purchase option or ask friends for it. Rubies are the premium currency in the game and helpful in getting extra cash, energy, mood and materials. That’s how the game monetizes.
Suburbia is quite enjoyable. It is a fresh take on the classic simulation game but it differs from most by integrating an attractive and dramatic story into the mix. In it you can enjoy casual home building, role-playing and a little thrill in the mysterious detective story. Overall, it offers a lighthearted and fresh experience. And it is a nice choice for pastime.