City-building Game Catch All

I also bought it in early access and have 38 hrs into it. I find it to be the kind of game I can just play for 15 minutes here and there. Unlike Gremlin, I don't find it's 2hr later and I'm still playing it. I just go back to it some other time for another 15 minute chunk.

The game is purely a high-score chaser. There are no end-game goals, other than unlocking all of the cities (which isn't really that hard to accomplish). Some of the cities have slightly different dynamics, like train cars that only hold 4 passengers instead of 6, or a high-speed train as an option.

If you aren't the type to chase after higher and higher scores, this probably isn't the game for you.

DonD wrote:

I also bought it in early access and have 38 hrs into it. I find it to be the kind of game I can just play for 15 minutes here and there. Unlike Gremlin, I don't find it's 2hr later and I'm still playing it. I just go back to it some other time for another 15 minute chunk.

Yeah, I don't expect that it'll have that effect on everyone: I just keep starting the next session when my metro inevitably collapses into chaos.

I should note that while the minimalistic presentation is nice, if you're looking for a strong visual or narrative hook you'll find the game lacking. Your passengers will forever be abstracted and anonymous. Which works just fine for a light puzzle game, but don't expect it to replace Rollercoaster Tycoon or Cities in Motion or something.

I spent the entire weekend playing Banished.
With every other city building game that I have played previously, the fast forward time button gets pressed early and often.
Banished is the first game that I have not touched the FF button...ever !
It's a lovely game to leave on during a lazy Sunday afternoon, sometimes popping out of the room for 20 minutes at a time whilst it's running, sometimes catching up on TV and NFL.
I love the presentation of the changing seasons, and the subtle ebb and flow of trade and industry.

pinkdino99 wrote:

I spent the entire weekend playing Banished.
With every other city building game that I have played previously, the fast forward time button gets pressed early and often.
Banished is the first game that I have not touched the FF button...ever !
It's a lovely game to leave on during a lazy Sunday afternoon, sometimes popping out of the room for 20 minutes at a time whilst it's running, sometimes catching up on TV and NFL.
I love the presentation of the changing seasons, and the subtle ebb and flow of trade and industry.

Sadly the mechanics wore thin pretty quickly for me, but I take your point about the aesthetic, it was very pleasing.

The new Settlers-esque city-builder Valhalla Hills is out on Steam and GOG today. If any of you pick it up, please share your experience.

Mack gives it a somewhat reluctant thumbs-down, but thinks others could enjoy it.

D-Man777 wrote:

The new Settlers-esque city-builder Valhalla Hills is out on Steam and GOG today. If any of you pick it up, please share your experience.

Mack gives it a somewhat reluctant thumbs-down, but thinks others could enjoy it.

That looks really, really interesting, but...

$30 for an early access game? That takes some cojones. I think I'll pass on paying the creators of that game to beta test it for them.

My mistake - it was labeled as early access when I looked at it yesterday. It appears this is the final release. I hope they fixed the bugs Mack was talking about.

... because I bought it using his GMG discount code.

See my TL;DP 100 minutes in Valhalla Hills review here.

Very nice write-up, BadKen. Thanks for your insight. I was a little intimidated by the price, not having heard much about it. Might have to grab it this weekend.

So I basically have all of the Anno games (other than 2205) no in my pile. I'm thinking about diving into them now. A couple of questions:
1. I was going to dive into them based on when they were developed. Are there any that are simply not worth playing? Is there a better order to play them in?
2. Any general Anno tips?
3. Any Anno games I should skip altogether?

Budo wrote:

So I basically have all of the Anno games (other than 2205) no in my pile. I'm thinking about diving into them now. A couple of questions:
1. I was going to dive into them based on when they were developed. Are there any that are simply not worth playing? Is there a better order to play them in?
2. Any general Anno tips?
3. Any Anno games I should skip altogether?

I always make the mistake of picking games to play for the wrong reason - start with the first, start with the one I think I can finish first, etc... I'd go with the one that has the most appeal to you. You might not ever get to them all, you might as well play the one you might enjoy the most.

I'd recommend Dawn of Discovery. I'm not as interested in scifi and I found the underwater cities in the Anno 2070 expansion annoying. There are probably some quality of life features in 2070 that Dawn of Discovery doesn't have though.

Seconded Dawn of Discovery, or Anno 1404 as we call it across the pond.

Agreed--DoD/1404 would be my first choice. Though 2205 is right in the running for me, personally.

2070 and 1404 are pretty much identical in terms of gameplay. 2070's interface is a little better for seeing what you need for a given supply chain, but that's really about it. I'd go with whichever is cheaper right now... assuming the money's burning a hole in your pocket and you don't have any of the other billion games that's been released in the last couple of years to play.

I've only played Dawn of Discovery, 2070 and 2205, but I'd recommend Dawn of Discovery. 2070 is okay, and it has a lot of refined features, but I really don't like the online metagame crap they added. 2205 is a rather different kind of game. Similar formula, but it changes a lot of the basic gameplay.

I found the resource chains of 2070 to be remarkably obtuse in how they crossed over to the different factions. Maybe it's just me, but after several attempts it just never clicked.

Just remember that Anno 2070 has combat, but it's not a conquest RTS. You'll never make headway trying to obliterate your opponents; the bulk of your units are naval and 90% of the buildings are on land. Build military for defense and to disrupt the enemy's trade routes (or in campaign mode, to accomplish objectives).

Budo wrote:

1. I was going to dive into them based on when they were developed. Are there any that are simply not worth playing? Is there a better order to play them in?
2. Any general Anno tips?
3. Any Anno games I should skip altogether?

So I just finished a marathon session of Anno 2205 and wanted to weigh in on this question. I have played every Anno game since 1701 and consider it one of my favorite series of games.

3: If you have 1701, skip it. It's very similar to 1404 (Dawn of Discovery) only I thought 1404 was a lot better. Skip anything before 1404 for that matter.

1: Personally, I would start with 2205, though you indicated you don't own it yet. Some people dislike the changes, but personally I feel this is the best of the series. Mainly for two reasons: a) the early games enhanced difficulty through obscurity. Things that didn't need to be hidden were and that made it harder to play for no apparent reason (e.g. production chains). Anno presents all this information in the UI now, so there's no need for crib sheets or exceptional memory of how things interact. b) there's objectives to things now, it's not just a self-motivated city builder any more. I quite like the new goal system of the Lunar Licensing program and each territory's individual objective quests.

That said, if you don't plan to get Anno 2205, I'd go against the general consensus and say play them in reverse order starting with 2070. There's no real reason to play the earlier games unless you like the theme of one more than the other. Each game is a progression of the same mechanics, and each game improved on the interface and explanations of the systems. You'll find it easiest to learn the game if you play the last one and then work your way backwards. Though, I do agree that in general DoD/1404 was a better game once you understand it than 2070.

Also, you can pick up and move buildings without rebuilding them. Not sure if you could do this before, but this feature is great in 2205.

2: Get a crib sheet for production chains and print it out. Each factory produces a certain number of goods at 100% optimization and those numbers EXACTLY match another factories inputs. None of this is available in the game UI you just have to watch your inventories fluctuate to figure it out, but it's all hardcoded and fairly easy to discern. People have made charts to help you remember. For Anno 2070, I always used this one:

Anno 2070 Production Chains

I don't know if there's a graphic for 1404, I always just used the wiki:

Anno 1404 Production Chains

Any game just google Anno XXXX production chains

That is all.

Spoiler:

IMAGE(http://images.akamai.steamusercontent.com/ugc/397804203901819113/3668D32246A2E1A4DFB9295ADDAA432544FDE1C7/)

Thanks for the production chain links, Frahg! Never would have thought to look for them.

I've on a kick with DoD the last week and lovin' it! I really enjoy the theme and with watching Euphorya LP's have been learning a lot of little UI things I never knew about...like the pipette tool. No idea how I never used that. Or being able to drag buildings to the contextual building menu. So useful!

Probably will try 2070 again soon and give it a fair shake since I own it.

The Anno series has to be in my top 3 favorite games/game styles. So relaxing!

quasiChaos wrote:

With watching Euphorya LP's have been learning a lot of little UI things I never knew about...like the pipette tool. No idea how I never used that. Or being able to drag buildings to the contextual building menu. So useful!

I don't know if you can do this in DoD or 2070, but you can drag accelerate time to your toolbar and then you can toggle it on or off instead of having to hold down the + key to accelerate time. That was super useful to me.

Frahg wrote:
quasiChaos wrote:

With watching Euphorya LP's have been learning a lot of little UI things I never knew about...like the pipette tool. No idea how I never used that. Or being able to drag buildings to the contextual building menu. So useful!

I don't know if you can do this in DoD or 2070, but you can drag accelerate time to your toolbar and then you can toggle it on or off instead of having to hold down the + key to accelerate time. That was super useful to me.

I can confirm the accelerate time can be added to the toolbar in DoD and is very useful! Thanks again for the great tip. I've had my fill of the sail theme now of DoD and am now jumping back into 2070.

Logistics is fun!

Sol 0: Mars Colonization is out on Steam today. Looks to have some similarities to Planetbase, and reviews seem positive. Quill18 did some Let's Try's of the early access a few months back. I'll probably pick it up for some weekend play. Not too risky at $5.09.

D-Man777 wrote:

Sol 0: Mars Colonization is out on Steam today. Looks to have some similarities to Planetbase, and reviews seem positive. Quill18 did some Let's Try's of the early access a few months back. I'll probably pick it up for some weekend play. Not too risky at $5.09.

Ohhh, let us know. I still need to play Planetbase!

Some of the Sol 0 reviews scared me away, talking about colonists dying despite adequate resources due to pathing issues.

i skimmed quil's first two videos and bought the game. I don't have really high expectations, but it's a $5 game made by one person, and I like this kind of game.

I looked at this and started Planetbase instead. I'll check out Sol when it's all grown up.

It was $5 and as an aspiring (in that I daydream about it from time to time) solo game dev, I bought the game out of solidarity (and genre interest, of course). I put about 15 hours in this weekend. If you've seen the Let's Plays, that's about it. It's definitely not complex but that's actually a plus for where my head is at these days. It's not awesome, but it's easily worth $5.

Just saw this announced at RPS: Urban Empire

In Urban Empire you take control of a mayoral dynasty and lead your city and people through 200 years of history. Establish infrastructures, plan city districts, debate political decisions at the town council, bribe or blackmail your opponents, empower the democratic rights of your people or ignore them and reign supremely by yourself – the decision is yours!

Beginning in the 1820s, establish your city through five different eras, each with its own threats and opportunities. Master the challenges of the centuries, face political struggles, experience world-changing events and pioneering inventions, and create your own unique Urban Empire!

Urban Empire is a ‘City Ruler’, pioneering a new breed of strategy game that combines city builder features with political scheming and adds profound social and historical events into the mix, creating a whole new gameplay experience where players must employ strategic planning and political savvy to successfully grow their cities in their role as Mayor.

It's being published by Kalypso and is scheduled to release Q3/Q4 of this year.

It's being published by Kalypso

That worries me. They have truly excellent programmers and QA, but I have not been impressed with the actual game-design skills on display.

City Ruler? Love that idea.

I'm with Malor on Kalypso though. We'll see.

So Romopolis certainly LOOKS like an old-school Impressions city builder.

http://store.steampowered.com/app/47...

If I wasn't over my gaming budget I'd snag it.