By Cody Musser
Nightclub City is one of the newest Facebook games making its mark on the Facebook crowd with bass-thumping authority. The game is quickly racking its way up to 400,000 monthly users and it’s only been around for about half that time. So, what about it is so captivating that it’s making such headway? Perhaps everyone has figured out that it’s just that much more fun to run a Facebook club than to be in an actual one.
Nightclub City is a sim-type game in which players build their nightclub starting almost entirely from scratch. You’ll get some dance floor, a DJ booth, and a bar, but the rest is up to you. Your avatar is spinning the records in the club, and you’ll get a chance to make a genuinely charming likeness. Even the majority of your club visitors that roll in off the street look pretty cool and the fun style helps to keep the game interesting.
Your record-spinning skills will you have playing sets of pop, techno, or hip-hop music that you can change at will. They’re not bad jams, but after a while you’ll definitely be looking to switch or give the game a muting, at least offering your ears a little break. You’ll hire your Facebook friends as workers in your bar, either as bartenders or bouncers. The bar is where you’ll earn most of your money, via drinks and tips, until you can start building booths for the high rollers. Bouncers will patrol an area and toss out any rabble-rousers starting fights, or you can suggest they do it manually. It’s probably a good idea to toss out the guy puking in the corner, and your club’s crowd will surely be happier for it.
The money you earn is actually the basis for your leveling up, with pre-determined amounts of total earnings achieving your next gained level, regardless of whether or not you spend it. This isn’t anything special, but it seemed a unique way to sidestep a separate experience system. The cash will buy upgrades for your club that include better bars, more thumping sound-systems, seating, decorations, and all sorts of other ways to spruce up your party space. Better sound-systems will net you longer sets, so you don’t have to keep checking back in (well you shouldn’t have to, the game seemed to pause frequently on us – asking if we were still around instead of letting your club continue to work on its own), while nicer bars will get your more money per drink.
These things and other cosmetic decorations will boost the luxury level of your club, gaining bigger crowds and more notoriety on the club scene. At higher levels the luxury and popularity of your club will keep it filled, even considering it grows in size periodically as you level. Keeping your popularity high can be done by occasionally booking celebrities to stop in and wow your guests with some star factor. There are almost 50 celebrities in the game, and they’re all spoofs of real world stars – Bruce Leet, 55 Cent, Beyonce Knolls and lots of other greats round out the list.
Aside from the pauses, Nightclub City has been a great little club-sim so far. Climbing up from the early levels to where your club is starting to look extravagant and celebs are always popping in doesn’t take too long and it’s plenty rewarding. You can look at your friends clubs to see how their crowd is coming and how creative they’ve been with decorating. The developers need to make some additions to the overall features of the game and include a bit more interaction with your Facebook friends; at present the game seems a bit single-player for a social gaming experience.
(Author’s Note: At the time of writing Nightclub City has yet to implement any currency beyond in-game currency. Some comments on their Page indicated a FB currency had been implemented before, but no system could be presently found in Nightclub City at this time by us, at the level we achieved while playing. Surely, expect this to change as the game grows.)