The stars at the bottom left of your screen tell you the current rating for your town. Tapping on these takes you to your Conform-o-meter, which is a very important part of your game:

The more stars you have, the more money and XP you can collect from buildings or from your characters’ jobs. But to maximize your collections, you need to keep your ratings high in 8 areas:

(Note: Android players have a slightly different Conform-o-meter, without Righteousness or Socialism, both of which are affected by the social part of the game. These will appear at the same time as Origin does.)

All of these 8 areas come together to give you a conformity bonus of up to 5% on all money and XP collections. But just how they work can sometimes be a bit of a mystery. Here, then, is an overview of what each one does and what it’s affected by:

1. Indolence: affected by the number of houses you have compared to the number of characters you have – type of housing and housing balance can also have an impact
2. Consumerism: affected by the number of stores you have for the number or characters you have
3. Tree Hugging: affected by the trees, bushes, and pollution you have in your town
4. Vanity: affected by the number of type of decorations and special objects in your town
5. Obedience: affected by the number of government and public services you have for your town population
6. Gluttony: affected by the number of restaurants you have for your town population.
7. Righteousness: affected by a combination of your criminal population and their moral behavior, as well as by leaving and cleaning up graffiti
8. Socialism: affected by the number of Origin friends you have and how frequently you visit them

This means that there are a few things that happen regularly in the game that will have an impact on your Conform-o-meter – and I’ll take a look at some of those in part 2…