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PC Building Simulator on Steam – Building games
Surviving the Aftermath. The best city-building games on PC ; Cities: Skylines · 81 %. E · Linux, PC (Microsoft Windows), Mac, PlayStation 4, Xbox One ; Anno Pioneers. King of Avalon.
There are a lot of games where you build things, after all, and they can be very different. Helpfully, then, I’ve split this list of the 20 best building games on PC into four sections, each covering a sub-category of this big, messy genre.
There were some general criteria for inclusion on the list: games had to have some kind of “eye in the sky” camera POV, meaning Minecraft, Space Engineers and suchlike will have to wait for another list. I also left out vehicle construction games like Besiege and Nimbatus, since they felt like their own thing. Watch on YouTube. RTS games with more emphasis on waging war than base-building, including tower defence games, were mostly left out, as well as games in early access.
Or cut down on the scrolling with these helpful category links. Best city building games Best base building games Best tycoon games Best colony sim games. Don’t see a game that you think should be on this list, or looking for something different entirely? Let us know – politely – in the comments, or hop over to our picks of the best PC games to broaden your scope.
Games about building cities, where you’re working on too grand a scale to care about the individual lives of your ant-like citizens. The challenger that became the champion of “realistic” city builders, Paradox’s Cities: Skylines grew up in the genre shadow of SimCity, and ended up eclipsing it almost entirely. Skylines nailed so many of the issues crucial to simulating the construction of modern cities, with its suite of road placement and traffic mechanics being something of a masterpiece, and solid systems for zoning, public transport, and all those other things that sound dull on paper but become day-eatingly engrossing once you’ve gotten stuck in.
C:S is as versatile as they come, with virtually any city design being possible with a bit of thought. If there’s a price to pay for this, it’s that it’s very sandboxy to play, without many definite objectives in sight. But if that’s an issue for you, or if you find you’ve reached your appetite for the possibilities of the base game, there’s such a vast catalogue of official DLC and community-built mods, that you’re never going to run out of new ways to build.
The series of history-themed city builders made by Impressions in the late s are widely seen as one of the high water marks for this entire genre, and that series reached its Zenith with Emperor, a game about constructing cities through thousands of years of Chinese History.
And yes, you can build the Great Wall. It’s a massive but satisfying endeavour, and there’s little more pleasing in my experience of PC gaming, than watching hundreds of little peasants with wheelbarrows, beetling too and fro to fill its enormous timber frames with dirt.
Like older siblings Caesar III, Pharaoh and Zeus, Emperor is all about supplying housing with all the things it needs to get really posh, largely by making sure that “walkers” generated by increasingly fancy service buildings and markets wander past them regularly. There’s a knack to this, but the game makes it pretty intuitive to pick up, and there’s a great pleasure in using resource-gathering and processing buildings, as well as trade, to get hold of the goodies your increasingly demanding aristocrats need to make it through the day.
Frostpunk is a gorgeous punch to the gut. You’re in a steampunkish, Victorian setting that’s so well-realised that it avoids the usual cogs-and-twee-banter cringiness of the subgenre, and you’re in big trouble. The world is getting colder and colder at a terrifying rate, and somehow you’ve got to build a city that can survive it, using whatever manpower you can scrounge from the devastation around you.
The sense of dread and desperation is relentless, but that makes the moments of progress and achievement all the sweeter. It really is beautiful, too. From little touches like the footprints left by workers in snow, to the crackly rime that appears on the UI when it gets really cold, to the immense soundtrack, the level of sensory immersion is wild. There’s also a big narrative focus to the game, with a clear story playing out and several events you can pretty much memorise the timing of, and this obviously erodes replay value somewhat.
But with several new scenarios released as DLC, and a more sandbox-y Endless Mode to boot, you’ll find it’s a long time before you grow cold on Frostpunk. Anno sees you building cities across multiple islands in – surprise! The actual city building is solid but not revolutionary, but what makes it special is the fascinating set of mechanics involved in managing settlements at different levels of development across multiple landmasses.
And then the real fun starts, as the New World opens up, allowing you to spread onto a whole new map with its own resources and rules. It’s a game that gives you a lot of plates to spin: as well as your multiple settlements, you’ll have trade routes to manage, choose-you-own-adventure style quest minigames to play, and even limited RTS naval combat to conduct against AI adversaries and pirates. But once you’ve got the hang of the pacing, this simply means you’ll rarely have a dull moment, or find yourself stuck for something to do while waiting for resources to accrue.
It’s delightful to look at to boot, with lush beaches strewn everywhere, and cities that are actually worth zooming in to view up close. I was lukewarm on the original release of extraterrestrial settlement setter-upper Surviving Mars, but the Green Planet DLC, which restructured the game around a terraforming megaproject, absolutely transformed it for me.
If you’ve ever read the classic science fiction trilogy Red, Green and Blue Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson, you can be assured that this game is as near to an adaptation of those books as exists in modern gaming. It’s the sense of constant, infinitesimal progress that I love. Changing the entire surface of a planet is an eye-wateringly huge job, and so you have to start it when your settlement is tiny and new. At that point, before you’ve got the wherewithal for massive planetary engineering, it feels like pissing in the wind – but it adds up over time.
When you look up from the water management crisis you’ve been trying to fix for half an hour and see actual green on the landscape, it’s magic, and it captures the slow-burn joy of maintaining a garden in the most unexpected way. You’re not building a city in Factorio. No citizens will call the place you build home, unless you count automated drones, or the waves of rightfully angry insects that will die to its defences. It is a metropolis planned and built by its sole inhabitant – the trudging spaceman you control – and with a single purpose in mind.
It’s a machine. A giant, mind-meltingly complex machine that will eventually construct a spaceship. And somehow, through the sheer brilliance of its design, Factorio makes this infinitely less daunting than it should be. The game coaxes you towards this feat of engineering through thousands of tiny increments; minor Eurekae that stack up until you look back at what you’ve done in all its immensity, and feel like a genius.
Be warned, though: it is engrossing. RPS bossman Graham, in fact, sees Factorio as less of a game and more of a curse: a dark bit of magic that makes time vanish without the player ever being aware it has passed. Let the machine suck you in. Much like Frostpunk, They Are Billions is a bleak game about fending off overwhelming adversity with Victorian ingenuity, only here the Steampunk is a bit hammier, and instead of the cold, there are a huge, huge, huge number of zombies.
They might not actually be billions, but when they rush your base they seem more like a liquid than a mass of individual attackers, so gregarious are they. And of course, the game is largely about building the walls, turrets and soldiers that will stop them from adding your citizens to their big, hungry party. But it’s not just tower defence; you also have to build the economy that will supply the material for your fortifications, house the workers to make it function, and keep them alive and well.
What results is a fascinating double-layered game, where you end up playing a robust little city builder, at the same time as you’re conducting a titanic, permanent last stand at the outer wall.
Two great tastes that go well together, in my opinion. Don’t Starve has one of the best titles in the history of games, and it adheres to it ruthlessly. You’re some sort of hapless animated character, dumped in a whimsical, paper-cut-out hell wilderness, and your stomach is slowly withering.
You must find food, or you will die. You must create light at night, or you will die. You must prepare shelter and warmth for winter Getting the picture yet? The whole experience is a constant, tense battle against entropy, where you feel horribly fragile, and solving any problem creates two more problems. It’s ace. But then, the key to survival in Don’t Starve is the slow and painstaking assembly of a basecamp from things you find scattered in the wilds.
It’s a crap campfire at first, and maybe a miserable sleeping bag, but eventually there are fridges and rabbit traps and farms, and even weird houses for horrid pig men to live in.
It soon takes on the feel of a sort of settlement builder, and you will become immensely proud of the hard-fought-for cluster of hovels and junk that’s keeping you alive. There have been some hits and some misses in the Stronghold series of castle-building RTS hybrids. But especially since its HD remaster job, the original game has stood the test of time as the most solid of the set.
It’s a game about building a Medieval castle, complete with an economy to keep it running, and an army of soldiers with British regional accents to defend its walls. Then you defend said walls, using all sorts of fun tricks including pits of tar that can be set alight by flaming arrows!
There are plenty of scenarios included, as well as a multiplayer mode, but the true pleasure of Stronghold is its meaty campaign, which pits you against a number of varied challenges – some buildy, some defendy, and some attacky – with the eventual aim of defeating your nemesis, Wolf Off Of Gladiators. At its best, it’s Helm’s Deep with stiffly-animated knights instead of orcs, and there’s a lot of fun to be had in working out where to put your curtain walls, siege weapons, and nightmarish fire traps.
But I love AoE2 so much I had to make an exception. And there’s definitely more building involved here than in your average RTS, with placement of castles, walls, towers and production buildings forming a major part of any game. Even if building skills alone won’t get you far in AoE2’s miraculously revived multiplayer scene, the satisfaction of neatly walling off your settlement and fending off an enemy rush will never get old.
Games about building the physical premises of a business, with the aim of making lots of filthy, nasty money.
Transport Tycoon Deluxe is as venerable as they come, hailing from good old , and remains a perennial favourite to people who really enjoy building and managing massive logistics operations.
And while the original game can’t be found on most PC storefronts, that’s fine, as it has long been supplanted by OpenTTD – a fan-made successor with bigger maps, LAN support, and the potential for player multiplayer online. OpenTTD isn’t a cut-throat thrill ride: it’s as much about sculpting an entire human landscape as it is building train stations and making money. Particularly when you are playing with a horde of other patient, meticulous transport curators, the slow evolution of a map elicits a soothing sort of joy.
It’s a bit like playing in an orchestra, only with trucks and things instead of music. Planet Zoo features possibly the most beautifully simulated wildlife in the history of games, and considered as a management sim alone, it’s a respectable 7.
But where it really shines, and the reason it’s on this list, is its phenomenal construction system. Borrowed from Planet Coaster also on this list , and with a few tweaks and improvements, Planet Zoo’s building tools are unmatched. When I played the game for review, I spent hours upon hours just building landscapes with the map modification tools, before even thinking about animals or tickets.
And when I did get round to building facilities for brute-housing, I was delighted to find a huge library of individual components and construction pieces, which could be positioned in any orientation I wanted, and connected any way I pleased. If you can think of an aesthetic, Planet Zoo lets you go through with it, from dingy lion holes built in caves inside an Immortan-Joe-style mesa, to charming, grass-bordered walkways spiralling above a Roman-themed palace for Tortoises.
It’s remarkable. Offworld Trading Company is one of the most cleverly designed games I’ve played. As the name suggests, it puts you in the shoes of a business attempting to exploit the boundless riches of the solar system, and competing with a pack of other maniacs trying to do the same thing.
Everything in OTC is built on a beast of a simulated commodities market, and success is entirely driven by how well, and quickly, you can spot and exploit opportunities in its frantic fluctuations.
There are loads of juicy mineral extractors to build, and drones to watch ferrying delicious goods between your various coin-production domes. There are dozens of excellent, puzzly scenarios to take on, but the multiplayer mode is where it excels. Without a single laser being fired, it manages to offer some of the most hectically competitive action in the whole strategy genre, and has the feel of a fighting game generated entirely from the gestalt wank fantasies of Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos.
Planet Coaster is not, thankfully, about cornering the market for circular discs on which to rest drinks. It’s a game about building a theme park, and approaches the brief as emphatically as Planet Zoo approaches its own. What’s great about it, too, is that once you’ve built your rollercoasters, you can ride ’em.
With an ever-expanding marketplace full of real-world components you can finally stop dreaming of that ultimate PC and get out there, build it and see how it benchmarks in 3DMark!
From your own cozy workshop, you must use all your technical skills to complete the various jobs that come your way. Customers will provide you with a range of jobs from simple upgrades and repairs to full system builds which you must complete while balancing your books to ensure you are still making a profit!
PC Building Simulator will allow you to experiment with a large selection of accurately modelled, fully licensed parts from your favourite real-world manufacturers. If money was no object, what would you build? Build your PC from the case up with your favourite parts and express your building flair by choosing your favourite LED and cabling colors to really make it stand out.
Choose from a range of air and water cooling solutions to keep it cool or even go all out with fully customizable water cooling loops! Once your rig is ready to go, turn it on and see how it benchmarks.
Not happy with the results? Jump into the bios and try your hand at overclocking to see if you can get better results without breaking anything! Does building your own PC seem like an impossible task? PC Building Simulator aims to teach even the most novice PC user how their machine is put together with step-by-step instructions explaining the order parts should be assembled and providing useful information on what each part is and its function.
DirectX: Version 9. See all. View all. Click here to see them. Customer reviews. Overall Reviews:. Review Type. All 44, Positive 41, Negative 2, For example, well-written witty dialogues and exciting gameplay led to a story and an atmosphere of ancient civilizations.
In addition, you have a wide selection of titles. Which of these epochs was your childhood obsession? The Golden Age of the genre might be long in the past, but the dedication of loyal fans is strong. Sometimes strategizing and thinking through the ideal infrastructure gives you a strong sense of control, which can be calming.
Especially nowadays, when it seems like we have no control over anything. But that’s just our opinion. How about yours? Do you even like city builder games in the first place, or do you prefer spending your free time with more dynamic gameplay? Did we miss anything in the article? Let us know. The trend was started with Dark Souls, but there are many more great titles that are equally difficult and rewarding.
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It lets you make a town exactly as you need it in exactly the configurations you need. The SimCity franchise has been around a long time. The first entry in the series dates back almost 30 years. It is essentially the grandfather of all city-building games and paved the way no pun intended for many games to come. These titles are still relevant in the gaming sphere, extending from PC and consoles to find a new home on mobile devices.
It may not be the most innovative title on this list, but the formula they created is still solid today and definitely worth your time. You can even check out the final entry in the series, SimCity: Buildit , for free on your favorite mobile device.
Medieval Dynasty is an odd one where rather than being some omniscient figure dictating where buildings are built and what your residents do, you are instead just some guy who dictates where buildings are built and what your residents do. The settlement building features of this game are incredibly fun to interact with and they turn the game from a simple survival game with a generations system into something far grander.
While this title is currently in Early Access, Foundation is a very promising medieval-era city builder from Polymorph Games who proudly advertise their game’s lack of a grid and focus on the procedural nature of settlement building.
The game is very good at emulating what it must have felt like to manage a medieval settlement, with many events being out of your hands and the enforcement of a reactive rather than proactive gameplay style. In addition to that, the game has a thriving modding community sure to extend the title’s lifespan many years.
If your greatest goal in life is to gain favor with a Nordic God and earn your place in Valhalla, have we got a game for you! Valhalla Hills is a throwback to the popular Settlers games in which players will build settlements in an attempt to earn favor with Odin. If you’re looking for a more laid-back city-building experience, this is one we highly recommend.
The colorful, cartoonish art style is appealing and there is less of a focus on combat than some of our other titles. You will need to fight for resources with the local Dwarven population and there are some monsters to contend with, but for the most part, you can focus on expanding your Nordic empire. Urban Empire is a city-building sim that takes a slightly different approach. Rather than focusing on the building aspect, Urban Empire tasks you with furthering your civilization through diplomacy.
You spend the bulk of your time competing for votes and favor among your citizen. You will build relationships as frequently as you destroy them, all the while researching ways to improve life in your empire.
This entry is for players keen to witness the unraveling of a ” historical family drama” rather than participate in a true strategy game. If space colonies are more your thing, Surviving Mars is a great option to feed the explorer in you.
You will begin your journey on Mars, which is currently a barren wasteland. Luckily, the game provides all the tools required to make it habitable. This title is not for the faint of heart, however. You will be battling the deadly atmosphere, lack of oxygen, and infertile land, making your job all the more difficult. After you’ve established a livable settlement, you will start attracting humans to your colony.
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