City Builder Archives - myPotatoGames
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  • svgFeb 8, 2024Indie Highlight

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    The once great city of Rome has fallen, and now you’re in search of a new land to restart life. Nova Roma by developer Lion Shield has you lead a small band of people who seek to build a new city called Nova Roma. This city is meant to be a bastion for all the good things the Roman Empire once was, but it’ll take work. Start from a tiny little village and work to build a bustling city. 

    Nova Roma is a building simulation at its heart, but you’ll also need to figure out how to harness the world around you. Build dams and aqueducts to control water for your city. Explore the world in search of necessary resources and ship them back home to use. Meet the many needs of your citizens by providing homes, entertainment, and more. Even choose to keep your urban sprawl in check or risk the wrath of the gods by taking over the countryside. Of course, you can build temples to those gods to appease them and ensure Nova Roma’s prosperity! 

    Release Date

    This gorgeous city-builder is coming to Steam this year. You can add it to your Wishlist now!

    Want something a little more free-form and relaxing? Try Tiny Glade!

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  • svgFeb 7, 2024Reviews

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    It’s February already, and that means it’s Steam Next Fest time! I’ve written about past Next Fest demos that I fell in love with here and here. This time, I’m bringing you an even bigger list of cozy games because this Next Fest is packed full of great ones. From interior design games, farming sims, and creature collectors, to gardening and diorama makers, there’s so much to see this time around. So, without further ado, here’s a whopping 10 different Steam Next Fest demos you need to try this month!

    Make Room

    Make Room is a relaxing little diorama designer game. Use hundreds of different items to craft the perfect spaces in each environment. Set up a charming country kitchen, build a comfy reading nook, or design the coziest living room you can think of. You have total control over where items are placed, so you can make your interior design visions come true. 

    The icons in this game are SO small, but the item options and color choices are perfect for creating some great rooms. The sandbox mode is great for strictly creating on your terms. The objectives mode is easy and relaxed, even though you must build to certain specifications. And creating things on a smaller scale makes creating a lot less overwhelming.

    Critter Crops

    Critter Crops is a gorgeously designed game where you play as Sylvie. She’s a newfound witch who’s been run out of her town because of her abilities. As Sylvie, you arrive on Mutter Island where you discover you can grow magical Critter Crops. These special plants can help you restore the island to its former glory. When you’re not farming, explore the lovely little island you now call home, gather resources, mine, and get to know the people you come across.

    What a delightfully whimsical game! The art is very unique, and the crops are too. Raise creatures by growing crops that are very, very different from what you’re used to. The town and crops and creatures are all slightly spooky, which is perfect for the Halloween-loving player who dislikes actual scary things. The color palette and the music is super pleasing, too. Talk about a farm sim with a twist!

    Everholm

    In Everholm, you play as Lilly, a young woman looking for her lost sister, Melanie. While out searching, you come across a mysterious portal that beckons you to the cute and cozy little island of Everholm. Weirdly, everyone there seems to recognize you, too, like you’re an old friend. So, embark on an adventure full of mysteries, magic, and relationships as this sim game is all about learning new skills and living together in harmony with others. Farm, forage, fish, raise livestock, and more. 

    Here’s another beautiful game. This time, it’s a lovely pixel art style game with a great story behind it. I like that your character actually holds a conversation with the NPCs, too. You’re not just subjected to a one-sided monologue. Plus, the NPCs exhibit some really great personalities through their speech. It’s clear this game was lovingly made. 

    Furnish Master

    Furnish Master is a relaxing interior design game where you furnish apartments, houses, commercial estates, and outdoor spaces. Use intuitive controls to place each piece of furniture and decor how you like it. Painstakingly choose color schemes and materials for your furniture to match the theme of each room. Even resize items so they fit perfectly in a space. As you complete spaces, earn money so you can buy new properties to continue decorating. You can also engage in story mode where you can buy properties across a single city. Even take on some challenges and puzzles in story mode to unlock new items.

    Here’s another diorama-like interior design game, but this time has a far more complex system and more involved missions. Paint the walls to certain specifications, furnish a whole kitchen with specific items, and use your hard-earned money to decorate your own place or buy other properties. There was even a puzzle level in the story mode where you search a room for puzzle pieces and put it together. If the levels have that much variation, I think it’ll be a really fun game. Not to mention the furniture options are varied, there’s a pretty great placement mechanic that includes snapping, and the graphics are nice. This is great for folks who want a little more direction and a more involved interior design game. 

    Botany Manor 

    Botany Manor takes place at a stately home in 19th century England, and you play as Arabella Greene, a retired botanist who lives at the manor. Spend your days exploring the different rooms of your historically accurate manor. Get to know Arabella and her career as a woman in science through your explorations. Discover beautiful gardens and sprawling countryside vistas as you take in the relaxing nature around you. Take care of a variety of plants by finding their seeds and planting them in the appropriate environments. Inspect newspapers, letters, paintings, and more to get a better understanding of the needs of your plants. Care for them and help them flourish by meeting their exact needs, and watch as your efforts are rewarded!

    The visuals are just breathtaking in this game. They’re by no means highly realistic levels of art, but the designs of plants, the architecture, and the dynamic lighting work perfectly together to create such a charming environment. The manor grounds are to die for. I’d love to have my own home with a garden and orchard as beautiful as this one! Searching for clues on how best to grow the plants adds an element of fun beyond simple gardening. It gives you a reason to look around the manor, but also makes you feel like a researcher, which the character you play is! If you play nothing else on this list, play this game. It’s so worth it.

    Minami Lane

    Welcome to Minami Lane! This lovely little life sim lets you build your very own street where you can decorate and manage shops. Build homes to attract villagers to your street. Keep them happy by beautifying the area with decorations, shops, and attractions. Build ramen shops, boba cafes, bookstores, and more. Each shop has its own inventory and effects on the neighborhood. Play missions for a challenge or sandbox mode to focus on the creative side of building. 

    This was such an enjoyable experience. There are goals and missions to complete, but they weren’t super high-stakes or difficult to complete. The overall graphics are gorgeous and soft and adorable. I love the Japanese-inspired architecture and street design. It’s nostalgic for me, and brings a sense of comfort. Overall, this game is perfect if you want a city-builder with more than just creative building. 

    Lightyear Frontier

    Lightyear Frontier is the cozy farm sim set on an alien planet and uses mechs to farm! That’s right, you get to pilot your own fleet of mechs to get things done around the farm or go out exploring the gorgeous world around you. Build your new home and develop a flourishing farm by growing alien crops. Explore your surroundings and restore them by cleaning up pollution and clearing invasive weeds. Discover the secrets of the world, and do it all while playing solo or together with friends.

    What’s better than a farm sim? A farm sim with semi-realistic art where you pilot a mech suit to farm and explore, of course! This is seriously such a fun concept, and the different advanced tools you have access to make things even more fun. Vacuum up some water or seeds. Use your spikesaw to obliterate rocks and bushes. It’s a very modern sci-fi take on farm sims, and I love it! 

    Night Stones

    In Night Stones, you find yourself trapped in a dream in a world full of magic and a rich story. Upon waking, you find yourself still in this world and must discover the secrets of the world and find a way home. Explore the beautiful world of Mythica where you’ll encounter Night Stones. These stones will turn night into day, and vice versa, allowing you to meet new characters. Complete quests to gain new abilities that will help you to further your mission. There’s no combat in this game, but there are enemies you’ll need to outsmart to accomplish your goals!

    This was such a short demo, but I loved it. Movement is smooth. Controls are super easy. The art is cartoony, but lovely. Animations looked great, too. All of it comes together to present such a good demo that makes me excited for the full game!

    Kamaeru: A Frog Refuge

    Kamaeru is an adorable farm sim where you farm, raise frogs, and preserve nature. Transform the surrounding wetland into a hospitable home for your amphibian friends. Meanwhile, feed, breed, and care for a variety of frogs. In fact, there are over 500 frogs for you to collect! You’ll need to figure out how to attract new types of frogs, then breed them together to unlock rare colors and patterns. Take pictures of your cute pals, and decorate the refuge to make the coziest little from rescue! 

    I loved the watercolor-like art in this game, and a comfortable creature collector. Playing is calm and easy. The frogs are adorable, plus restoring the wetlands is a fulfilling objective. Decorations are adorable and fun to place. There is a tic-tac-toe mini game to breed frogs together that adds a fun element, and there are more minigames mentioned to be coming with the full version. This makes me excited for the full version because it ought to be packed with a lot of great things to do. 

    Summerhouse

    Summerhouse is a relaxing building game. That’s it! Build structures on a small scale to create cute neighborhoods. Set your neighborhoods near the sea, in the middle of the city, or nestled in the majestic mountains. There are no rules, no goals, and no objectives to this game. The focus is purely on creative building. So, kick-back and relax with some building!

    This one reminds me a lot of Townscaper. You just simply unleash your creativity and build, but instead of creating whole cities and villages, you’re creating houses, apartment buildings, or shops. The art is beautiful and relaxing, and so is the music. This is a great game if you’re looking to get creative without the constraints of missions or timers.

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  • svgDec 27, 2023News

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    Thirsting for a city builder and management game that doesn’t involve people? Look no further!

    United Penguin Kingdom is exactly that. You’re building a settlement for penguins while satisfying their needs. Build homes, decorate the town, assemble entertainment venues, and produce whatever else your penguin settlers may need. You’ll need to fight off killer whales and thieving seals while you do all of that, too.

    This is no low-tech village, either. United Penguin Kingdom makes use of different workplaces to grow food, produce materials, and make medicine for its citizens. Plus, energy generators are necessary for running homes, workplaces, and coolers. When they’re not working or chilling at home, your penguin settlers will enjoy spending time at museums, ice skating rinks, game centers, and so much more. Schools are important for your penguins, too, so make sure there are enough seats for them! 

    Can you grow your humble settlement from a tiny little village to a whole kingdom?

    Release Date

    You can find United Penguin Kingdom on Steam. There is no release date available, but you can add it to your Wishlist!

    Want more city builders? There’s Gourdlets, a builder with no objectives, just creative freedom. There’s also As Far As The Eye, The Wandering Village, and Dwarrows.

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  • svgDec 13, 2023Indie Highlight

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    In As Far As The Eye, you play the role of the wind guiding the Pupils as they journey to the center of the world. It’s your job to manage their resources, their buildings, and their whole lives. Direct them to a bigger and better life in order to make it to their destination while surviving life and the rising waters that threaten them. Ensure they survive and thrive!

    The roguelike tribe system gives As Far As The Eye a fresh feel each play through you take on. Plan out the route the Pupils will take to reach the center of the world. Not every route spells disaster, but each one holds its own special discoveries. Explore and search points of interest along that path to discover long lost treasures, and even meet allies along the way. And before you head on to the next spot, harvest resources, build your mobile village, and stock up on necessities! 

    As Far As The Eye reminds me a lot of dotAGE, which I absolutely loved. They both lack enemies, and instead pit you against random events that threaten the survival of your people. You overcome these events by preparing your people, in this case the Pupils, appropriately. Instruct the Pupils to conduct research that will improve their skills in agriculture, crafting, scientific and mystical arts. You’ll also want to improve your Pupils through the job system, as well as upgrade buildings for better results. 

    Will your Pupils survive?

    Release Date

    You can find this charming game now on Steam, Xbox, PlayStation, and Switch!

    The Wandering Village is another beautiful nomadic base-building game!

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  • svgNov 16, 2023Reviews

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    Fantastic Haven is a lovely Zoo Tycoon type game where you run a safe haven for magical creatures. As people move towards more advanced technology, their desire to live in harmony with the magical creatures wanes. This puts the balance of magic under pressure, and it’s up to you to restore that balance. Take in magical creatures that are injured or endangered, and restore them to health. Then, release them back into the wild to help restore the magic of the world. Even try diplomacy and education to teach humans about the importance of these creatures. It’s not an easy job, but it’s worth it! 

    The Demo

    I had the pleasure of playing the demo for Fantastic Haven and I have to say, it was SO short. I got a very small taste of what the game is about, and it left me wanting more. Building facilities necessary for taking care of animals, as well as advancing your research is great for game progression. Hand-crafting the biotopes needed to house the magical creatures is fun and lends a sense of creativity outside of building what amounts to a village with your buildings. 

    It’s apparent that, despite the short demo, Fantastic Haven will be fully involved and perfect for spending a day gaming. You conduct research, build golems to help you in your tasks, care for the creatures’ medical needs, build biotopes, feed creatures, and much more. It has a very apparent depth to it. However, that means there are menus upon menus for you to navigate. That by itself is fine. 

    Many complicated strategy and management games have that. Fantastic Haven’s research menu, building menus, creature menus, etc. are common enough. The only problem I found is that the text is TINY. It’s difficult to read, which makes it difficult to accomplish things in the game. The lack of tutorial was mildly frustrating, too. I don’t know if that was demo specific, but I hope so. The starting quests ask you to pan the camera, move around the area, and similar. It doesn’t tell you how to do that, though. So, if you’d never encountered using Q and E to turn a camera, you’d be totally lost and unable to progress the quest line. 

    Final Thoughts

    That said, Fantastic Haven is absolutely beautiful and offers an immersive storyline along with its game play. I could see myself spending hours upon hours perfecting the layout of my village, negotiating with humans, and carefully building biotopes for creatures. It’s a magical adventure that calls me to play!

    I’ll hold off on rating the demo, since they’re not always accurate to what the final game will look like. Just know that I think it’ll be a worthwhile game! 

    You can find Fantastic Haven on Steam, where you can Wishlist it. It’s not projected to release until Q2 of next year, though. There’s also plans for releases on Switch, PlayStation, and Xbox!

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  • svgNov 16, 2023Indie Highlight

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    The Tenants is your opportunity to build the rental property empire of your dreams! You’re in the driver’s seat of your new career, so you get to decide everything. Test your investment skills in order to earn money. Take risks or play it safe by finding the best bang for your buck. Then, choose who you rent to. Perhaps the aspiring musician will make a good tenant. Or even build a welcoming gaming haven for a group of gamer friends. 

    Just be prepared to deal with the various situations The Tenants has that will pop up between neighbors! How you react to things will have an affect on your gameplay. Deal with annoyed neighbors, and even problematic neighbors that might require police intervention. There’s more to it than just managing your tenants, of course. Take time to expertly design and renovate each of your rental spaces. Refresh the paint, redo the floors, and outfit the place with lovely furniture. The better the space looks, the more it’s worth!

    Available Now

    You can find The Tenants on Steam!

    Perhaps checkout Dwarrows next!

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  • svgOct 18, 2023Indie Highlight

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    dotAGE has you playing as the Elder of a village who has had visions of a doomed future. You take a handful of your villagers, called Pips, to seek out a new valley to settle in the hopes of overcoming these dooms. You need to guide them in working hard to prepare for what these dooms have in store. 

    With worker placement mechanics inspired by board games, dotAGE’s turn-based roguelike survival has you building a brand new village to suit your villagers’ needs and their survival. Each turn you can assign each Pip to a specific task like collecting food, chopping wood, or healing ailments. You can also train them in different professions as you upgrade your buildings to bigger and more useful things. You need to be careful and thoughtful in how you place your buildings as managing resources is imperative to survival. Once you end your turn, the Domains will take their turn and unleash increasingly powerful events on your village! 

    Can you survive them all and find out what’s causing the apocalypse?

    Simple, but Wildly Engaging

    When I say this game is addictive, I mean it’s addictive. It’s one of those games where you can pick it up and put it down at any moment because it regularly auto-saves, which makes it great for killing a few minutes of time. However, I’ve sat down fully intending to pay dotAGE for all of 20 minutes, and find myself still playing two hours later repeating “just one more turn” to myself. 

    Visually and game-play wise, it’s a really simple game. dotAGE has a cute pixel graphic style and simple sound effects. Plus, you navigate the research menu to unlock new buildings to build. Navigate the build menu to pick what to build. Click an already existing building to assign a Pip to a job. Then, click End Turn to advance the day. That’s it. There is the Agepedia which logs the different buildings, events, Pip traits, etc that you come across while playing, but that isn’t necessary for playing. It’s not a super complicated game, but succeeds in holding my attention for chunks of time! 

    And if you’re a fan of ActRaiser? Then perhaps you should try out this game. It has a very similar feel to it with the city building aspect.

    Final Thoughts

    There are difficulty levels you can choose from, which really makes dotAGE great. I’ve been playing an Easy campaign and still having a hard time keeping up with the dooms! However, it’s a great place to start to learn how to play the game and get a feel for what it’s like. Then, as you become accustomed to it, you can move to the harder difficulties. It’s perfect for testing your resource management and survival skills and challenging yourself! 

    There are games that I play through and remove from my computer to free up space. Many of those games I’ve loved, and will likely play again. Stardew Valley, Terraria, Core Keeper, and Raft being the main ones. Then there are games that live on my computer indefinitely because I can, and will, pick them up randomly to play. They’re essentially immortalized in my head and on my desktop. dotAGE is now one of those. I struggled hard to finish my first campaign, having up to 31 Pips only to end the game with 8, but I loved absolutely every second of this game.

    Overall, I give dotAGE

    You can find dotAGE on Steam now!

    Heard of the Story? is another city builder you ought to checkout! There’s also Fabledom, The Wandering Village, and Gourdlets!

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  • svgAug 30, 2023Indie Highlight

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    Hometopia is a building simulation that turns you into a home designer and developer in a realistic virtual world. You’ll build your career step by step, starting from the beginning and progressing to professional home designer as you go. Learn the ins and outs of the industry and level up your skills to unlock unique content. 

    Engage in a dynamic job system that offers a variety of tasks to complete. Successfully execute one-room makeovers or build whole homes from the foundations to the roof. Hometopia gives you the tools to seamlessly create and design for your clients. Enter first person view to get a better look at the interiors, or use overhead view for plotting the area better. Plan layouts of homes and plots by deciding the size and placement of each room. The grid-less designing allows you to place furniture exactly where you want it, and the color wheel lets you pick the perfect colors for each item. There’s even a workshop for custom items so you can achieve the perfectly designed spaces of your dreams!

    Hometopia even has player homes for you to create and design with total freedom for yourself.  And if you don’t want to design alone, play co-op with up to three others to complete tasks. Solo or together, design homes across five different neighborhoods and build a successful career!

    Coming Soon!

    Hometopia will release in just 3 short weeks! September 27th, you’ll be able to grab a copy of this fun home builder on Steam.

    For more home building fun, there’s of course The Sims 4, Adorable Home, or even Castaway Home Designer.

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