The best city-building games for Nintendo Switch
Playing city-building games rarely concludes swiftly. Immersing oneself in constructing entire structures and fulfilling the needs of the inhabitants ...
Playing city-building games rarely concludes swiftly. Immersing oneself in constructing entire structures and fulfilling the needs of the inhabitants ensures prolonged gaming sessions. Numerous city-building games incorporate mechanics that delve even deeper, where diverse situations are triggered by factors such as politics and the contentment of the residents.
The Nintendo Switch is excellently suited for extended gaming sessions, as you can take it with you wherever you go to play. Not only do long journeys no longer feel as lengthy, but playing outdoors can also provide you with a great deal of inspiration for your own cities as you construct them.
Updated on September 5, 2023, by Jouanna Bondakji: As new city-building games emerge as rapidly as the houses you create, we have added some additional choices to this selection for you to enjoy on the Nintendo Switch.
10 Project Highrise
In Project Highrise, you are an architect who is practically responsible for every nook and cranny of the buildings, as well as the happiness of the people who reside within them. You determine the type of structures you construct, ranging from offices to restaurants. The individuals associated with them exhibit diverse behaviors, lending greater significance to your construction decisions.
And if you prefer to leave the creativity to the game, there is a campaign mode that provides you with various instructions to build your skyscrapers. Balance the construction, keep the tenants satisfied, and secure funds to shape your buildings as effectively as possible.
9 Prison Architect
Just because the art style of Prison Architect is simplistic does not mean that the gameplay is also easy. Bearing the responsibility for a prison filled with some of the toughest criminals means that you must remain vigilant in order to keep them all under control while also attending to their needs. The prison requires reinforcement, but if done incorrectly, it can lead to various hazards or even a prison uprising.
There are also several other entertaining game modes, including an Escape mode, where you can step into the shoes of the prisoners and attempt to break out of a maximum-security prison. The game offers so many possibilities that you can spend hours playing just a single round.
Technically speaking, in Minecraft, you can do more than just build cities. It is the kind of game where the sky is quite literally the limit. With its open-world gameplay, it offers far greater diversity than most other city-building games in terms of locations, building materials, and designs.
Different resources that you can mine and gather enable you to do more things, and you can even have pets to take care of, such as cats, chickens, and pigs. There are creatures that will attempt to harm you during the night, so it is crucial to be well-equipped to defend yourself against them. One of the main appeals of Minecraft is that it can be as relaxed or chaotic as you desire, especially when involving friends.
7 Cities: Skylines
The more extensive city-building games are, the better. Cities: Skylines is vast, yet incredibly detailed, just like real modern cities. It's not only about making the infrastructure look good; you also have to consider the basic needs of your citizens. The balance between aspects such as water, electricity, and healthcare rests on your responsibility as the mayor of your city.
You also need to manage the traffic, which is realistically influenced by the day and night cycles of the game. Needless to say, Cities: Skylines delves into city-building with great detail and is a must-play if you appreciate precision and a challenge.
6 Civilization 6
City-building games can be relaxing for many people, but if you're looking for something with a bit more spice, Civilization 6 offers just that. You're not only playing solo but also competing against AI in a turn-based strategy game. You start with a small group, but the objective is to ultimately expand this group to encompass the entire world.
In this game, you forge both enmities and alliances, and as you make progress, the world around you becomes increasingly intelligent. As you construct your surroundings, it becomes rich with diverse groups, each with their own approaches. How you adapt the politics of your territory influences the reactions of your population and other territories towards you.
Townscraper is arguably the ultimate low-stress city-building game. If the pressure of managing everything in your city overwhelms you, you don't have to worry about that in this game. Here, there's no rush, just blocks. You place these blocks in the water and watch them transform into buildings. How you place them determines the type of buildings they become.
Of course, this is not a game you play if you're seeking excitement and challenge. It's a peaceful experience that you can continue for as long as you like, accompanied by striking, colorful art. Townscraper is particularly well-suited if you need something to occupy your hands while you're idle.
Islanders is a simple, relaxing game that plays slightly differently from other city-building games. Instead of using resources to construct things on islands, you already have a predetermined number of these structures in your inventory. How you place them determines how many points you earn. For example, you get some points for placing a fountain in a park or near a house. Once you have collected enough points, your inventory is refreshed with additional structures.
It starts off simple and becomes more challenging as you unlock more objects to place. There are different types of islands, such as desert or snowy islands, which have different items and point distributions. The game ends when you run out of objects in your inventory, so it's crucial to think strategically about where you place things to keep the game going.
3 Tropico 6
In Tropico 6, there's a lot of fun to be had because it allows you to be as friendly or devious as you want while creating your own paradise. You get your own archipelago to either create the hottest tourist attraction or demolish everything and build an entirely new city from scratch.
Political management is also a major theme in this game, and you have to ensure that your residents are happy. Or silence those who are not. Just as you prefer. You can literally steal the seven wonders of the world for your own city and deliver grand speeches from your balcony, allowing you to live out your fantasy as a cartoon villain while building the ultimate place to rule.
2 Airborne Kingdom
Forget city-building on land or in water. Airborne Kingdom allows you to build your city in the sky. However, you must ensure that your city stays balanced up there. When you're not busy constructing various infrastructures, you can go on quests to gather resources and even help other kingdoms on the ground.
Ensuring that the needs of your population are met by providing food, shelter, and medicine is also crucial. The world is randomly generated, so you never know what you'll come across. And if you prefer to build a city without obligations, there's a creative mode where you can unleash your creativity and not worry about additional things.
1 Spacebase Startopia
The ability to build cities in different locations is great, but how about different time periods? Spacebase Startopia takes place in a futuristic science fiction environment where intelligent machines and aliens are ubiquitous. You have the honor of overseeing the construction and cultivation of a space station because you're the only normal person who can understand the AI.
You have to expand this station in different sectors while accommodating your alien clientele. However, it's not that easy because there are also hostile intruders that you must defend against. Although the visual design of the game is futuristic, it also features a cartoon-like art style that represents its sense of humor. Spacebase Startopia can be challenging but doesn't take itself too seriously, making it less intimidating and particularly entertaining.