Whether you like video games about building modern cities or video games about building medieval settlements, 2023 is your year. Not only are we finally getting a sequel to the best urban planning game ever in Cities: Skylines 2; this year will also see the release of slew of other interesting and quirky city-building games.
Get ready to manage resources and create stable industrial supply lines, gamers! Here are 10 soon-to-be released civilisation-planning games coming in the next year (or so).
Cities: Skylines 2
At Paradox Interactive’s announcement show this week, the game publisher dropped the news simulation-fans wanted most: A full sequel to 2015’s Cities: Skylines is on the way. The trailer doesn’t show any gameplay footage for the urban planning simulator, nor has the developer announced any hard details on new features (although it looks like there are seasons). But that’s fine, because we don’t have to wait long for it — it’s scheduled for release later this year.
Where to play it: Cities: Skylines 2 will be released on PC, Xbox Series X|S, and PlayStation 5 at some point in 2023.
The original Frostpunk earned raves from reviewers and gamers alike for its bleak tone and fascinating city/society-building mechanics. The sequel sees you back in the endless winter of the arctic, leading a metropolis that’s starved for resources and threatened on all sides. Expansion — and all the conquering, exploitation, and plundering that come with it — is necessary for your society’s survival, leaving you with a choice between benevolence and tyranny.
Where to play it: Frostpunk 2 is scheduled for release on PC in spring, 2023. Hopefully console versions will follow.
If you’ve ever wanted to be the lord of a feudal kingdom, Manor Lords is for you. This medieval strategy game features deep city building, complex social and economic simulations, and tons of serfs to boss around. But you’re not just building a nice city for your peasants — you also have to defend it from competing lords, whether through diplomacy or large-scale tactical battles.
Where to play it: Manor Lords will be available on PC in 2023.
Laysara: Summit Kingdom
Laysara; Summit Kingdom explores the unique challenges and opportunities of building a settlement on a mountaintop. You’ll carefully outline your production chains, establish trade routes with other nose-bleed cities, and otherwise plan out every detail, all while dealing with unique dangers like avalanches and, hopefully, abominable snowmen.
Where to play it: Laysara: Summit Kingdom will be available on PC in 2023.
Terra Nil is a “reverse city-builder.” Its world has been completely ravaged by mankind’s hubris, pollution, and “progress,” and your job is to bring it back to life in an ecologically sustainable way. You’ll re-grow the trees, clean up the rivers, and eventually create a sustainable civilisation where people definitely won’t make the same mistakes again.
Where to play it: Terra Nil will be released on PC on Mar 28, 2023.
This single-player game mixes city building with survival elements in a high-fantasy setting. You are the leader of the Tribe of the Dawn, and your job is to keep them safe and help them build a livable, defensible city, all while fending off enemy tribes, monsters, and harmful magic.
Where to play it: Gord will be available on PC in 2023.
Life By You
With 2015’s Cities: Skylines, Paradox Games completely stole the “building a city” genre away from the Sim City franchise, and now the company seems to be aiming at The Sims with just announced Life By You. Whether The Sims or Life By You “count” as city-builders is an open question, but in both you design houses, manage resources, and maximise citizens’ happiness, so they’re pulling from the same toolbox.
Where to play it: More details on Life By You will be announced on March 20, 2023.
In most city-building games, you plop down a new office building or road and move on. The Constructors delves into the details of how things are built. You are in charge of a construction company and it’s up to you to determine every aspect of your buildings, from design, to materials, to overseeing workers — right down to the kind of lightbulbs installed in the hallways.
Where to play it: The Constructors will be available on PC in early 2024.
City of Atlantis
Where Laysara lets you build at the top of the world, City of Atlantis takes you to the bottom of the sea in a game that combines city-building with tower defence. When Atlantis rises, you’re in charge of rebuilding and restoring it to it’s former, mythical glory. This one is intriguing for the setting alone.
Where to play it: City of Atlantis will be available on PC. The release date is TBA.
Viking City Builder
There are not enough vikings in video games. Viking City Builder is 100% vikings, so I can only assume it will rule. You are the leader of a clan that decides to start a settlement right on top of a town you’ve plundered. You’ll manage your viking boys (and girls), assign them tasks and professions, build an economy, and send your dudes off to engage in adventures like sacking monasteries.
Where to play it: Viking City Builder will be available for PC, release date TBA.