I have been playing Cityville here and there for quite a while now since last year. It is actually the first FB game that I had invested more than five minutes into, so I thought it might be a good game for a little bit of reflection.
I started playing this game when it first came out last year. I was intrigued by the massive amount of players that started playing on day one and I wanted to see what all the hub bub was about. I thought it took a few days to warm up to it, but it became fun as a kind of competition to see how quickly I could level up compared to my other friends.
It did not take me long to realize the friends I had who were truly dedicated and you could tell were paying some cash into the game. Their city was decorated with some expensive items, and you could tell they were returning to the game frequently.
After playing for a while I tried my best to create a layout to my city that would be somewhat realistic to an actual city, but this was actually a hindrance to your progression in the game. It was quickly discovered that if you removed your roads you could connect your businesses and houses with sidewalks to take advantage of precious real estate. It also made your city look really stupid. It always bothered me to visit other cities to find that they had 20 hamburger joints or identical city buildings right next to each other. The game became less about the aesthetics of a cool city and more about the ease of harvesting easier.
With a little prompting I got my wife into the game as well for a short time. As lame as it sounds, we had a good time talking about our city layout and the things we had done to our cities. It was nice to have somebody who would consistently give you items without feeling like you were spamming them all day. In the end, that is the only way we got ahead.
Eventually I gave up on trying to complete goals because of having to spam people. I was able to find some gaming forums however such as www.gamersunite.com which allowed you to post needed items and allowed you to get things more quickly.
Over time my interest waned. I think what was a big buzz kill for me was when they introduced the police departments to the city where you have to keep feeding your police force with donuts (of which they had an endless appetite). Or you were unable to catch the little criminals who lurked around your city stealing your money. This got super annoying to me as there was never any time off. Feeding your lazy police with donuts was a full time job.
Occasionally I do check into my city to see what is going on and to collect some money. I have a LOT of friends who still play so I will go in and accept their help. Now I just save up money and try to buy some of the larger buildings. Trying to build a nice downtown area, and a slum area, etc... I don't really care about the progression any more.