Best City Building App Games
We’ve all had those ‘if I was in charge’ moments. Sometimes it feels like overseeing the construction and management of a city is made to seem harder than it actually is. After all, how hard could it actually be? These city building app games aim to answer that question by putting the power (and inordinate funds) in your hands.
Whether you’re in the market for some therapeutic construction or wish to spice things up with a little political mischief, this list of the best city building app games should cater to your every need. But will you do the same for your citizens?
The SimCity franchise is one of the foremost city building games on the market. And BuildIt affords fans the chance to develop cityscapes and manage the myriad complaints of your bothersome citizens from the comfort of your train seat. Plus, there’s no risk of getting ‘voted out’ when you inevitably mismanage the power grid and plunge your citizens into an energy crisis. We’re sure it’s a hit among many politicians.
In the interests of shrinking the city building mechanics, SimCity BuildIt does away with zones, focussing instead on individual buildings that can be moved or demolished as the player sees fit. But be warned – SimCity BuildIt is a “free” EA venture, so keep a tight hold on your wallet.
Megapolis is a great example of how sometimes the best city building app games are the ones that were born on mobile. Though EA purists (if there is such a thing) might prefer their beloved SimCity franchise too much to betray SimCity BuildIt, city building app game fans may find Megapolis to be a more rewarding experience. Mostly because it isn’t desperately trying to empty your pockets at every tiff and turn.
Once you can look past the somewhat dated graphics you start to realize the sheer potential within Megapolis to create something truly beautiful. Hell, even their cheapest buildings look like an idyllic getaway. It’s unsurprising then that most cities created through Megapolis come out looking like a utopia, no matter the skill, or lack thereof, of the main architect. Video games are a great form of escapism, after all.
If you’re the kind of creative app gamer who simply wants a blank canvas for their imagination, then Pocket Build could be the title for you. Blank canvases, after all, don’t set artists goals and missions to complete en route to their magnum opus. Though we are left wondering how many masterpieces might have been created by now if they did.
Pocket Build is a true sandbox, so much so that there’s a debate over whether to call it a ‘game’. For those that want some therapeutic me-time with which to build the town of their wildest dreams – and nothing else – there’s really no better (or prettier) app game.
The Battle of Polytopia
The Battle of Polytopia is Elon Musk’s favorite video game. If you don’t believe us, check out this Tweet where he said it was better than chess. We’re not sure what grandmasters’ stance on the debate is, but we’re willing to have a guess.
But at least that grandiose assertion is at least somewhat founded. Turn-based Polytopia also bears a lot of similarities to Sid Meier’s Civilization series. It pits a number of whimsical civilizations against one another in a bid to dominate the polygonic landscape or score the most points through expansion and growth. It also sinks its claws into you so deep that you’ll be tapping away until sunrise and wishing you never laid eyes on the city building app game. Apologies in advance.
The Simpsons: Tapped Out
Tapped Out was something of a phenomenon when it first released and has since declined. Much like its source material. But that’s not to say that Tapped Out is either a dead nor unenjoyable game. In fact, for Simpsons fans, this is the best-of-the-best city simulation app games.
Tapped Out tasks players with moulding their very own Springfield as they see fit, canon be damned. By completing quests and generating money with their buildings, players can turn the oft-beleaguered Springfield into a place that everyone would actually want to live in.
Clash of Clans
So you can build a pretty city that can stand the economic test of time, political strife and inclement weather. But can it survive a barbarian onslaught? Clash of Clans will put that to the test.
Clash of Clans is so popular these days that it has started to form a Clash-verse of spinoff titles featuring its beloved cast of recognisable characters. But the original sees players attempt to build a prosperous village before the nearby griefer decides its looking a bit too livable and decides to descend on it with their bloodthirsty army of moustachioed barbarians.
Luckily, players can decide to band together and develop their own titular clan out of up to fifty people. If PocketBuild was a little too humdrum for you, then perhaps Clash will offer the high-stakes city-building mechanics you’re after.
Tropico puts the player in charge of a tropical island nation and tasks them with holding power through any means necessary. Which sounds sinister, but Feral Interactive takes the notion of good ol’ fashioned corruption and turns it into little more than political shenanigans.
In Tropico, prosperity is subjective. The player could decide to enact popular policies that lead to a thriving island populace. But they could just as easily look out for number one, treating their beloved citizens as little more than pawns to help achieve their nefarious ambitions.
This tongue-in-cheek romp is easily one of the best city simulation app games for anyone who likes an extra helping of politics and military strategy as they build their perfect island getaway.
Subterranean city-building, citizen management and practice for the inevitable apocalypse – Fallout Shelter brings a lot to the city simulation table. Fans of the original series can now get their Fallout fix in the palm of their hand as they assume the role of Overseer of their very own vault: a haven for survivors of the nuclear apocalypse. Provided their actions don’t lead to a living space less-habitable than the wasteland outside, that is.
Fallout Shelter stands out as one of the best city building app games for its non-predatory mechanics. Instead of sinking real-world cash on speeding up building processes, players can instead take “calculated” risks to speed things up. But in our opinion, a small radroach infestation to satiate our impatience is more than worth it.
Whether you use your almighty power for good or bad is up to you. Sometimes tearing down your creations can be just as cathartic as the building. Just be sure to stick to the best city building app games if that kind of urge takes you.
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