New technologies have made video games ever-so immersive, with increasingly stunning graphics to boot. But while open-world adventures have been booming lately, gamers usually do not have the creative liberty to transform their environment as they see fit. Unless they’re playing a city-building sim, that is.
The city-building genre has gone through tremendous changes since the late 80s. Blockbusters have risen and fallen. Many games have gone mobile. Gameplay-wise, though, city builders have remained true to their core over the years. And they’ve proven a timeless concept to explore for the most imaginative gamers out there. So, here are four city-building games to discover or revisit in 2022.
There was a time when SimCity was the absolute king of the city-building genre. But a handful of disappointing titles came challenging its supremacy until, in 2015, a new game by Colossal Order knocked the series off its throne. In Cities: Skyline, players focus on building the grandest metropolis. Much like any other city builder, presiding over a functioning city means exploiting resources, managing taxes, and keeping enemy factions at bay if need be.
But Cities: Skyline stands out among its peer for the sheer scope of its micromanagement system. A blank slate, this sandbox game allows you to explore any creative avenue you can dream. And dozens of DLCs have expanded on the original, adding everything from airports to promenades and nature reserves.
The Anno franchise has long been a staple of city-building games. And debate is fierce as to which instalment may be considered the crown jewel in the series. But Anno 1800 might be the most well-rounded of all titles in the franchise. Kicking off at the dawn of the industrial revolution, the latest Anno game has players establish and maintain colonies in an Old World reminiscent of Victorian Britain. To keep them thriving and unlock new population tiers, you must develop increasingly demanding production chains, leveraging research and technological advancement.
Yet the world is much larger than your tiny islands, and you soon get to expand your empire to the New World. So, get the better of competing rulers, build trade routes, and gather resources to prosper. Several DLCs even spiced up the experience, with Ubisoft recently revealing a teaser for a New World Rising DLC.
Retro games are back in style. And although it came out in 1999, Pharaoh has barely aged a day. This city-building sim by Impressions Games takes players to ancient Egypt. Erecting a city on the bank of the Nile, players learn to govern every aspect of their newly-found settlement. From tackling unpredictable floods to trading with distant merchant cities and building monumental altars to the gods, Pharaoh gives a unique historical flair to the genre. This vintage city builder was so popular that a remake is in the works on PC.
Incidentally, Pharaoh is largely regarded as one of the top games with an Egyptian theme, among acclaimed titles like Assassin’s Creed: Origins. Even online casino software providers drew inspiration from the Egyptian civilisation of old. Publishers like Playtech and Pragmatic Play have developed several Egyptian-infused slots. Thus, gamers may enjoy games like Curse of Anubis and Ancient Egypt for free. And top platforms list out many more providers to discover, spanning a wide array of themes.
Boundless beyond our wildest imagination, outer space is the perfect setting for a video game. And the best space games have confirmed just how thrilling the final frontier could be. If you’re in the mood for some intergalactic exploration, therefore, Surviving Mars is the right fit. Developed by Haemimont Games, this sci-fi city builder makes you responsible for developing the first human colonies on the Red Planet.
Pick the ideal location, and turn this barren wasteland into a functioning micro-society with all the right infrastructures for a sustainable future. See to your colony’s survival by finding ways to grow crops on infertile land and countermeasures to lethal atmosphere. The fate of your colony also hangs in the balance as you set out to uncover the secrets of Mars.
Ever feel like living the big city life? With city-building games, you can control and administer every facet of your dream settlement down to the last detail. So, will efficiency prevail. Will you go the beauty building route instead? Let your imagination run loose with the best city builders on PC and console.
Leave a Reply