Build Your Own Utopia in Pixel People

If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to command your own clone army, Pixel People is just the simulation game for you especially if you’re looking for less of an army and more of a suburban town populated by industrious clones working 9 to 5, just trying to make ends meet. That’s what Pixel People gives you, with lots of humor on the side, but does the fun come thick and fast or will this sim prove to be a bit too thin on real gameplay?

Let’s Call It Earth 2

That Earth thing? Yeah, that’s gone, or at least it’s lost or something. Whatever happened to it, you’re nowhere near it. You’re living in Utopia now, a flat world floating in space and populated by clones. And you get to be the mayor of it.

That's a pretty cool city, but I bet you can make one even cooler.

That’s a pretty cool city, but I bet you can make one even cooler.

On your first day in Utopia, it’s just you, the big shot mayor, and a mechanic working at your local clone arrival center. To turn your tiny Utopia from a ghost town into a thriving metropolis, you need to start building your city and making clones. That means you’ll be in charge of everything from major land expansion projects across the void of space to splicing the genes of your individual citizens. With all that power at your fingertips, you may start getting too big for your britches, but not to worry, there’s a tutorial to help you learn the ropes and figure out where you fit in the grand scheme.

Clones need a place to live, so build houses to make room for them all. If you run out of bed space, you’ll stop getting new clones. Let me tell you, you don’t want to stop getting new clones. Probably the best part of Pixel People is splicing two clones together to create a new job and unlocking all 155 clones — or more, because the developers seem to be tacking on more jobs as they update the app.

See, doesn't that look like a lot of fun? It does, because it is!

See, doesn’t that look like a lot of fun? It does, because it is!

We’ve stumbled onto the dystopian truth of Pixel People, though; a clone’s genetic identity determines his or her occupation and position in life. A clone born into the life of a janitor will spend his life known only as Jan Itor, always cleaning up after other people, with no hope of promotion or any change of situation. And it’s you, as the mayor, who chooses which clone gets to be an Ancient Hero and which ends up a lowly Grave Digger. You’re not bothered, though, because every new clone and every new job gets you closer to filling up your clone gallery, available by tapping the job counter at the top of the screen, and that’s all a good mayor cares about.

I'm not sure why the game designer is dressed like, let's say, a lobster. Are the developers telling us something?

I’m not sure why the game designer is dressed like, let’s say, a lobster. Are the developers telling us something?

Building Your Freemium Town

With a lot of the clones you create, you’re also going to have to build a new workplace for that clone, too. In the beginning, you’ll build TV stations and sheriff’s offices like nobody’s business. You’ll happily watch Utopia grow, and you’ll build charming little homes to house all your working clones. Before long, though, you’re going to run out of space. Your clones will need more elbow room and Utopia will have to expand.

That’s not so bad; expansions start off pretty cheap. And then suddenly you’re breaking the bank, you’ve run out of space, and you can’t expand until you get more coins. You’ll have clones waiting to be spliced in the arrival center but you won’t have any place to put them. The problem is that all of your clones earn coins, but they only earn coins for so long, and then you have to tap them. They won’t start earning coins again until you give them a tap; your entire town’s production can shut down if you’re not paying attention.

Check out that sweet observatory and astronomer. I cloned that!

Check out that sweet observatory and astronomer. I cloned that!

You can either diligently tap your clones in their workplaces until you have enough coins for an expansion, or you can use your real money for an in app purchase of Utopia coins to finance your land expansion. To be honest, I probably had a good week of silly fun with Pixel People before I felt the coin crunch and another week after that before things really started to slow down. If a freemium game can give me so much fun for such a long time before I even start to sort of feel like I need to make that in app purchase, they’ve probably already earned my money.

Send in the Clones

Pixel People is very much a game of tapping. You have to be on hand at just the right moment to tap your clones into being, otherwise they’ll sit idle in the arrival center. When you’re not around to tap your buildings filled with working clones, everyone just stops earning coins. If that happens, you won’t have any way to pay for all the fun things you want to do in Utopia, like building monuments and corner shops or just making room for more clones. Some people are going to be turned off by the admittedly mindless tapping, and I understand that.

All that tapping, though, is only a means to unlock the fun stuff. Every single clone you create is its own little joke, and a lot of the fun comes from trying to guess riddles like what splicing a watchmaker and an explorer will get you. (Spoiler alert: It’s something awesome!) It’s surprising and hilarious to not only discover new clones but also where they’re going to be working and with whom. All the while, a cable news-style ticker is scrolling along the bottom of your screen telling so-bad-they’re-good jokes specific to Utopia’s inhabitants.

Look, I unlocked a unicorn! Unicorns are awesome!

Look, I unlocked a unicorn! Unicorns are awesome!

Once you’ve gotten the hang on your own Utopia, and it doesn’t take long, you’ll soon be obsessing over completing your jobs list and discovering all the animals Utopia has to offer, like the box cat (a regular cat that hangs out in a box) or the unicorn (species Equus hocuspocus). With its own quirky sense of humor to really set it apart from comparable sims, at the end of the day Pixel People is just an incredibly fun and charming game.


Summary

A fun freemium sim with a real sense of humor that doesn't get old.

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