Little Cities: Bigger! Review | PSVR2

Create the island of your dreams in the charming city-building VR adventure Little Cities: Bigger!.

By AndresPlays, Posted 27 Mar 2024

Imagine a universe in which you were a god. In this world, any little nuisances could disappear with the flick of a wrist, the creation of a new city as quick as a sneeze, and most importantly, any social issues tackled with the utmost efficacy ever known to mankind. Would you be up to the task? Little Cities: Bigger! poses this conundrum, albeit in a rather laid-back setting that is easy to get lost in.

Developed by Purple Yonder, this debut oozes originality and a willingness to pursue a wholesome creative direction. The previous work of their publisher, nDreams, includes PSVR2 exclusive Synapse, one of the must-play titles of the relatively new system ever since it came out. And now comes Little Cities: Bigger!, a less action-packed but equally exciting adventure, leaning more on the settlement-building side of things, and with a decidedly dreamy vibe.

Little Cities: Bigger!, PSVR2, Review, Gameplay, Screenshots, NoobFeed

From what is a gorgeous view at the terrace of a penthouse, the main menu welcomes you. It is possible to see people walking below, palm trees from afar, and a breathtaking coastline from your perspective. Right in front of you, the islands where your city-building ambitions will take place are here too. From two buttons to choose from, the Campaign, where a series of handcrafted levels are at your disposal, or the Sandbox mode where you can create your levels and play any way you like, the world is yours.

So, let’s say for the sake of argument you decided to go with the Campaign mode, for a more streamlined experience and getting the hang of how everything works before jumping head-on into the Sandbox mode. Even if you are a seasoned VR player, a sudden change in perspective is always impactful. The reason it is mentioned here is that as soon as you “click” on the first island floating in front of your map of the menu, the game instantly zooms you into that island and suddenly the tutorial and first interactions with the concept of the game begin.

Even if you are a first-time player of city-building games, it could even be argued that especially if you are, Little Cities: Bigger! does an astounding job of onboarding from the first moment. After teaching you which buttons to press to get closer, and farther and at which height would be more comfortable for you to start creating, the game truly begins. The island is barren with just a seaport, and from there you pop a bubble where the menu of options, all locked for now, of course, exists. All except the option to build a road. And as it is known every journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

By pointing to where you want to create your roads, pressing a button, and dragging them in a line to extend the road from your seaport the building begins. Simple as that. From there, almost every building you create must be adjacent to where you traced your roads. The small complexities of the game start here, because there are three main types of buildings, residential, commercial, and industrial, and naturally as it would in real life, people who live too close to factories and pollution will have an impact on their happiness levels.

Little Cities: Bigger!, PSVR2, Review, Gameplay, Screenshots

This is where you can start envisioning how your city zoning could work to be more efficient. Split the city into two areas, like real cities, where you have the industries on one side, away from the citizens’ view, and on the other the pretty sights and shopping malls. Or maybe choose to impulsively create as you go and try to fix and bulldoze what you do not like further down the line. It is all up to you.

Nobody would live in a city without water and electricity, so after carefully adapting the three basic buildings to your heart’s content, it is necessary to build both wind turbines and water towers to satisfy the most basic human needs in today’s world. And we are off to the races. Your progress is measured by the level of your settlement and your available buildings, from local services like schools to attractions and special structures such as aquariums as your population expands.

Due to the increasing number of variables to take into account, there is luckily a smartwatch to help you keep everything in check and know if everything is running smoothly or not. The clock on your non-dominant hand has indicators of the size of your population, demand for residential, industrial, or commercial buildings, level of your settlement, how happy are your citizens and what influences that, bars of power & water, style rating filled by attractions, how much funds you have to spend and how much your citizens’ work adds to said funds as each week goes by.

As your community grows into a fully grown city and arrives at the goal of each campaign, which is level 10, it is impressive to see the little details of how it all works. Kids go to school; firefighters battle house fires and some people simply go for an ice cream and chill at the beach. The way the game celebrates these little achievements is by throwing balloons each time you gain a new level. To see the congratulations expand alongside your construction ambitions is a pleasure to see on its own.

Little Cities: Bigger!, PSVR2, Review, Gameplay, Screenshots

Dynamic elements that add to the overall experience like seagulls floating by and whales exhaling water help give a livelier element to your creations. To not be overstressed when building your metropolis, the music plays a huge part in letting you spend hours on this project. The calm sounds, that change with each new map accordingly, make it easy to lose yourself in your marvelous creations.

If the thought has ever crossed your mind that the layout of your city can be designed in a better way, at some point you thought civil engineering could be your calling or simply have an affinity for compulsively creating designs in an efficient and orderly manner this is -and I cannot stress this enough- your game. Little Cities: Bigger! can satisfy that fantasy and also let you spend a relaxing afternoon while fulfilling that dream.

That said, having the freedom to go about building roads, houses and attractions to your heart's content means there is not just one straightforward answer to completing the game. This liberating sense of construction can make your imagination run wild and either make the most aesthetically pleasing city known to man or simply chaos incarnate. It is up to you to find a way to solve your population's problems, and there's no straight answer.

Of course, as many real-life cities suffer from the same fate, eventually you run with serious problems such as crime, fires, and disease and have to respond with building each corresponding construction to face the problems that your citizens face. This is where a bird’s eye view of your little island comes into play. Being able to see exactly where your police stations, firefighters and hospitals can and cannot reach are of the utmost importance to be able to successfully build a city with safe and sound citizens.

Little Cities: Bigger!, PSVR2, Review, Gameplay, Screenshots

Thanks to the extremely intuitive interface and use of the PSVR2, playing Little Cities: Bigger! feels right at home here. If you ever played SimCity or any game of the same ilk and felt limited to an unresponsive user interface, here you can create at your leisure and with an unparalleled amount of freedom. It is so simple just to choose what you want to build, point in a straight line or block, and start creating. As there are plenty of options to choose from, it should not surprise you to lose hours of your time on a simple map just simply decorating or going the extra mile even when the goal of your game has been completed. It feels satisfying to play.

The fact that this game is the ultimate package of the game originally known as Little Cities, it now has a full year of updates from the Meta Quest 2 edition and the Snowy Islands DLC goes to show that it is worth taking for a spin. Adding visual fidelity to its delightful art style it can now be appreciated in 4K at a 120hz refresh rate. As is the case with PlayStation 5 games in general, haptic feedback is a new feature implemented to increase immersion.

As self-explanatory as it sounds, Sandbox mode lets you run wild with your imagination with every possible type of building and creation available from the first moment to create the perfect model city that you have always dreamed of. After doing the main campaign of 8 different maps that each take around an hour to complete, this limitless mode that lets you put your inventiveness to the test is a fun option with endless replayability.

Although there is a varied number of biomes, obstacles, and music on each level, there does not seem to be much differentiation between each of them to fully warrant a playthrough of each. What matters the most about each level in Little Cities: Bigger! is the enjoyment factor of creating your city on your terms, flexing your creativity in the process of adding unique decorations that will certainly be personal to your island.


It could have been somewhat more complex with meters to fill and bars to ask you to fulfill certain tasks instead of only the proverbial "reach being a city", but the intention of Little Cities: Bigger! is very clear in this regard. The goal is not to stress you out by creating the most majestic city known to mankind or compete with other players online. The aim is to enjoy yourself by picking your brain with attainable challenges and appealing to your sense of wonder, not of challenge.

Once you are in that desired flow state creating each of the required buildings looking beyond what is asked of you and trying to find that architect inside of you, the time can feel like it goes by rather quickly, literally and figuratively. Figuratively the clock in your game does go by daily quickly but when you understand how every little gameplay mechanic works your goal is to create the most impressive city you can and that can be literally done in record time or at your own pace.

To zoom out and comfily watch from the skies when there was nothing but a barren island just over an hour ago and the hustle and bustle of people going about their daily lives is a feeling like none other. Little Cities: Bigger!'s ease of use, intuitive bubble UI, and clear goals shine among other games in the genre. It succeeds in giving you a cozy gameplay loop where there are no risks, but there are plenty of rewards.

Luis Aviles (@AndresPlays93)
Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information

Platform(s): PS5
Publisher(s): nDreams
Developer(s): Purple Yonder Limited
Genres: Strategy
Themes: City Builder, VR
Release Date: 2024-03-12

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