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North America cover art
|Publisher(s)||Media Factory (JP)
|Genre(s)||City-building strategy game|
Ubisoft (EU, AU)
|Genre(s)||City-building strategy game|
Metropolismania (known in Japan as Machi-ing Maker) is a PlayStation 2-only city-building game developed by Indi and published by Media Factory in Japan, Natsume in North America, and Ubisoft in Europe. The object of the game is to interact with NPCs in order to populate various towns. The game was released under a traditional CD-ROM format, uncommon to the PS2. A sequel was announced by Natsume, titled Metropolismania 2 (Machi-ing Maker 2: Zoku Boku no Machi Zukuri in Japan). The title was released on August 28, 2007 in North America and in Japan on July 13, 2006 by D3 Publisher. Another sequel, Metropolismania 3, was released for the PlayStation Portable by D3 Publisher but in Japan only.
There are various goals to complete in each of the five main scenarios. Goals always involve growing the town to a given population, and often ensuring that a percentage of the buildings are of a certain type, i.e. businesses, farms, or amusement facilities. There are also side stories that occur within each scenario, sometimes including bizarre instances involving smuggling rings, a cult, and even aliens. When all requirements for the scenario have been met, the player's boss will call to congratulate them and send a letter of resignation, allowing the player to move on to the next scenario.
Gameplay also centers heavily on interaction with the in-game characters. Each character has a friendship meter that increases or decreases based on interactions such as "gossip" and giving gifts. Relationship statuses are: "stranger," "know the face," "acquaintance," "friend," and "best friend." Introducing new citizens or solving complaints is often based on good friendship status with these characters.
There are several categories of characters in the game. Visually, characters within a category may have some variation, from the color of their hair to their clothing. Knowing personality types also aids the player in the game as certain conversational or "gossip" items more quickly increase the friendship meter. Some characters, as described within the game, include:
- Ambitious Trendy Guy
- Amiable Old Man Who Likes to Help Others
- Amiable Old Woman Who Likes to Help Others
- Athletic Guy Who Likes to Check Out Girls
- Boy (usually in the 6–10 years old range)
- Gal With Heavy Make-Up
- Girl (usually in the 6–10 years old range)
- Guy Who Likes To Give You Advice
- Mellow Girl Who Can Forecast Weather
- Middle-Aged Man With Commercial Smile
- Middle-Aged Man Who Likes Riddles
- Middle-Aged Man Who Likes to Tell Jokes
- Middle-Aged Shameless Woman
- Mom Who Likes Gossiping in Park
- Mommy's Boy
- Nerd Who Loves Computers and Video Games
- Nerdy Girl Who Is Into Fortune Telling
- Nerdy Girl Who Likes Everything But Her Work
- Ordinary Girl
- Ordinary Middle-Aged Kind Woman
- Quiet Girl
- Stubborn Old Man
- Stubborn Old Woman
- Workaholic Middle-Aged Grouchy Man
Buildings fall into many categories, as can be seen in the "Town Pages" phone book. Placement is strategic as many buildings require close proximity to others. Some examples include:
- Small Offices: Stackable up to three, includes "Planning Company", "Accounting Firm", and "Software Company".
- Large Offices: Stackable up to four, includes "Bank", "Insurance Company", and "Publishing Firm".
- Factories: Including "Garbage Dump", "Brewery", "Car Mechanic", "Fabric Factory", and "Steel Mill".
- Gas Stations: "gas stations"
- Fishing Industry: Including "Shrimp Port", "Sardine Port", and "Oyster Culture".
- Ancillary Fishing Buildings: "Fish Market", "Fishing Coop", and "Bait Shop".
- Farming Industry: Including "Orange Orchard", "Grapefruit Farm", and "Rice Paddy".
- Ancillary Farming Buildings: "Water Well", "Farm Machinery", and "Pest Controllers".
- Residences: Multiple versions of Families (some with pre-school age children, teenagers, etc.) as well as Senior Citizens, "Student Accom" and "Studio Apartment". Some specialty residences exist in the game as well, including "Piano Tuner's Home" and "Author's Home". These special designations do not seem to have any additional benefit in-game.
- Amusement Facilities: Including "Karaoke", "Amusement Park", and "Slot Machines". Some amusements are specifically for Senior Citizens, Adults, or Families.
- Grocers: Including "Seafood Shop", "Bakery", "Butcher Shop", and "Fruit & Veg. Shop".
- Super Stores: Including "Tailor", "Electrician", "Stationery Store", "Laundrette", "Hardware Shop", and "Department Store".
- Restaurants: In this game, restaurants have specific target consumers; some are specifically for Family, some are for Adult. Examples include "Savory Pancakes", "Coffee Shop", "Mexican Bistro", "Hamburger Shop", "Drink Bar", "Thai Restaurant", and "French Bistro".
- Police Stations: "Police Stations"
- Employment Agency: "Employment Agency"
- Schools: Each school category has a specific age range for students, including "Daycare Center," "Primary School," and "University."
- Hospitals: Including "Dental Dept.," "Maternity Ward," and "Local Hospital."
- Playgrounds: Including "Small Park" and "Large Park."
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