WidgetCity Help

On this page you will find instructions on how to play WidgetCity, including what all the buttons do, a quickstart guide, and more in-depth details on how the game works.

WidgetCity is a city building simulation, similar to Sim City games. It was created created by Jani Hartikainen. Visit my blog, CodeUtopia.

Quick start

Follow these steps to get a city up and running quickly!

  1. Build a coal power plant to provide power to your zones
  2. Build some industrial zones
  3. Connect the industrial zones to the coal power plant using powerlines
  4. Build some residential zones
  5. Connect the residential zones to powered zones with powerlines
  6. Connect industrial and residential zones with a road

Now you should have some buildings popping up on the zones you laid out. You can continue to expand by building more zones, roads, and so forth.

Game manual

The following chapters explain more specific functionality of the game.

User interface

These basic elements of the user interface are shown to the right


The user interface has two rows of buttons on the right side. Here is what they each do

Building your city

There are many things you need to think of when building your city. In the following chapters the various details of the simulation are explained.


Possibly the most important thing in the game, as you need money to run your city.

You will earn more money from tax income: All citizens in your city pay tax, so the more zones you build, the more tax money you will earn

Police stations, fire stations and roads cost money. Police and fire stations cost 100 per year. A section of road costs 0.7 per year, except for roads with high traffic, which cost 1.4 per year. Keep this in mind when building! For example, a police station may be too expensive if you do not have much people in your city.


Without power, your zones won't grow, your police and fire stations won't function and so on.

Coal and nuclear power plants generate power. Coal power plants can power 700 tiles, and nuclear power plants 2000.

Zones, stations, power lines and power plants all conduct power. If you build a power plant, and a zone immediately next to it, the zone will get power from the plant without the need for a power line. However, if a zone is not in direct contact with a powered zone, you will need to build a power line that connects the new zone to a powered zone.

If your city runs out of power, you will see a message "Build more power plants"

Roads and traffic

Your city needs roads so that the people living there can access other places.

When you build zones, you need to connect them to other zones with roads. It's enough if a zone touches a road in one location - it's not necessary to completely encircle a zone with roads. The image to the right displays correct and incorrect road access: the zone which has been crossed over is not correctly connected to the road, but the two others are.

All zones which have buildings on them generate traffic. Traffic causes pollution, and roads with heavy traffic will cost more to maintain.

Land value

Land values affect what kind of buildings get built on your zones. Having a high land value also means the zone will pay more taxes. Having a high land value also reduces crime, and having a low land value increases it.

You can improve land values by reducing crime and reducing pollution. This is why you should build your residential and commercial zones not immediately next to industrial zones, as industrial zones cause pollution and thus lower land values.


Pollution is caused by coal power plants, industrial zones and traffic. Pollution reduces land values.


Population density and low land values increase crime rate in your city. You can build police stations or try to improve land values to decrease crime.

Population density

Population density is determined by the amount of people living in a certain area of the city. You will need higher population densities for large residential buildings to get constructed. Until you have high enough population density, you will only see small houses.

Population density also affects crime rates


Each zone type has certain things that affect how good a certain location is for it. If a location has good desirability for a zone type, it means it's more likely for zones of that type built there to develop big buildings and better land values.

If you have a zone with some buildings on it, and the desirability factors drop too much, the zone may become empty.

Residential desirability

Residential buildings prefer to be placed in locations with good land value and low pollution. Residential zones also benefit from road access, and close proximity to commercial zones.

Commercial desirability

Commercial buildings prefer to be placed close to the city center: The area where the city has the highest population density. They also benefit from road access, and not being too far from industrial zones.

Industrial desirability

The only factor affecting a location's suitability for industrial development is whether or not it has road access to commercial zones.


The demand for various zone types is shown by the RCI indicator.

Demand for residential zones is affected by the availability of jobs: Does your city have enough commercial and industrial zones?

Demand for commercial is affected by the population and industrial zones.

Demand for industrial is affected by the amount of available workers.