Two new indie city-building games have just hit Steam Early Access, which look like they’ll have big appeal for those who like a retro or sci-fi flavour to their, well, city building. One is Silicon City – a throwback city builder with a ’90s-style vibe, and the other is Sphere – Flying Cities, which has you establish and protect a society housed in a bubble in space.
Both city builders have just come to Valve’s platform in Early Access this week, each with a discount of 15% off their regular price. Silicon City is a “tribute to the good ol’ city builders from the ’90s”, indie developer Polycorne explains, which draws on classic features and mechanics you might remember from days of city building past, like a “grid-based playground with procedural development” and various construction types (residential, public service, shop, and office buildings, plus parks and other cultural spaces).
You’ll also have to manage your city’s traffic and the evolution of its citizens – or “silizens”, as they’re called in the game. You play as a mayor who starts from scratch with little besides empty land, so you’ll need to build it up, make sure everything’s hooked up with electricity, entertainment, and work, while keeping it all financially healthy – and making sure you’re popular enough to be re-elected when the time comes.
Sphere – Flying Cities, meanwhile, is a sci-fi city builder that folds in elements of strategy, simulation, and survival in its gameplay. You have to rebuild a flying colony in a bubble in space as its commander, following a disaster that’s made earth’s surface uninhabitable, and navigate it across the globe using an anti-gravitation device.
To get your fledgling city flourishing, you’ll need to master managing your resources and infrastructure, which will in turn need support from “independent economic cycles”, keep your tech in good shape, and use robots and scout technology to construct buildings in “hazardous” environments. They’ll also need to search for survivors to bring into your city, and rare resources to bolster your stores. The game additionally tasks you with researching new technologies to weather any incoming hazards and – naturally, as a city builder – maintain your people’s access to food, shelter, and healthcare.
It sounds like the stakes are high in the game, though. “Stay vigilant, as each decision could have ghastly consequences; be prepared to lay it all on the line to succeed, else risk losing everything you worked for,” the description says. Gulp.
If you’re keen to find out more about either game, you can find Silicon City on Steam here and Sphere – Flying Cities here. They’re currently priced at £13.16 / $16.99 and £12.74 / $15.29, respectively.