There are not many self-contained games of the city building genre. That’s a simple premise: you take on the roles of the planner and mayor of a city. You look down at your work from above and you are solely responsible for its development and management. City building games are exceptionally time-consuming, and each can go on forever – or at least until the city you’re building is old and you create a new game for the tests.
SimCity 4 – city building games
- Developer: Maxis
- Publisher: EA Games, Aspyr Media
- Platforms: PC
- Release: January 2003
After SimCity 3 was somewhat disappointing, the release of SimCity 4 by Maxis was a real comeback for both the company and the city building sim. More than just city building games, the game is an architectural playground for those of us who wish to have the power of god – and Daniel H. Burnham – within our reach.
SimCity 4 offers an impressive level of detail for a game where detail is absolutely essential, from street traffic to large-scale urban planning.
The time you played SimCity 4 couldn’t be measured in hours, not even days – but in months and years. Without a doubt, this is the best SimCity game and city builder in existence.
Frostpunk – city building games
- Developer: 11bit studios
- Publisher: 11 bit studios
- Platforms: PC
- Release: April 24, 2018
Frostpunk is set in an alternate 1886 timeline, where an unusual global winter has hit the world leaving millions of people living in an icy tundra. In order to survive, innocent civilians fled to cities built around a generator using abundant coal to keep the city warm. Players will control a generator city as they build it along with managing resources to keep civilians safe and warm.
The game offers three modes to go through all with different game storylines. For example, depending on the game mode, the player could lead an explorer group on an expedition to find a new coal reserve in north London, or you might find yourself playing the role of a leader of a refugee group that took control of a sanctuary in the city to generate electricity made specifically for the rich.
It’s worth mentioning that the expansions have also been well received and are worth a try. They are played very similarly but offer a number of different types of scenarios instead. For example, in The Fall of Winterhome, players basically discover that their generator is broken beyond repair and are forced to spend the last few days writing an evacuation plan.
If you like the base game and want a new challenge or sometimes even new game mechanics, adding expansions to the mix will give players pretty much additional content to chew through.
- Developer: Colossal Order
- Publisher: Paradox Interactive
- Platforms: PC, XBO, PS4
- Release: March 2015
Cities: Skylines give players the ability to build huge cities without being constrained by small plots and extensive modification possibilities. Inspired by Maxis’s SimCity series of city building games, Cities: Skylines is everything a city-building enthusiast could ask for in a game.