Brittany is a mobile gaming addict! Her favourite genres are simulation, casual, RPG, tycoon, fashion, adventure, puzzle, and city-builders.
City-building is one of the most popular genres of games on PC; from the one that started it all, SimCity, to more recent games like Cities: Skylines, people really love acting as mayor, planning their city, and sometimes even destroying it! If you’re a fan of this genre, you’ve probably wanted to play on the go and have likely searched in the app stores for city-building games you can download on your phone or tablet.
8 Great City-Building Games
There are thousands of “city-building” games available for download, but I believe I’ve narrowed down the best ones in this article:
- Pocket City
- SimCity BuildIt
- High School Story
- Zoo Craft
- The Simpsons: Tapped Out
- Fallout Shelter
Township is one of the most popular games in the genre. It’s been around since 2013, and I remember first playing it because I thought it was like Farmville. It is, in a way, as a big part of gameplay is planting and harvesting crops, then putting them into production mills and making goods for the townspeople.
But you can also build a town, with a large variety of decorative objects (bushes, flowers, foot paths, streets, etc.), houses and apartments, buildings, and even animals! You can even connect with Facebook and play with friends, join a co-op and produce goods together, build a zoo, participate in seasonal events, and more!
2. Pocket City
Pocket City is a traditional take on city-building games and ends up being quite a robust one for mobile devices! There’s the standard city-building gameplay; the ability to build every single part of your city- from the streets, to the parks and the buildings. However, one thing that Pocket City has in its favour against the other ones on this list is that you can plan zones (residential, commercial or industrial), deal with natural disasters (there are actually tornados, volcanos and storms!), and even respond to crime.
This game really feels like the kind of quality content you’d find in a PC city-builder. There are no annoying microtransactions, either! One thing to take note of, though, is that there’s a free version and a paid version. The free version does have some elements locked, but if you don’t mind shelling out $5.99 AUD (or $3.99 USD), this game is certainly worth buying, especially if you’re a big fan of the genre!
Megapolis is another traditional take on city-building games, similar to the kind you’d play on your computer! The game allows you to build an entire city from scratch, and it’s up to you to build all aspects of it, from the roads, to the airport!
You can also build railroads leading in and out of your city, discover bordering towns, build casinos, mines, and more! This game is a great one, which definitely feels reminiscent of games like Cities: Skylines or even Railroad Tycoon!
4. SimCity BuildIt
I’ll start off by saying that if you’re looking for a faithful port of the SimCity games on mobile, this isn’t quite it, but SimCity BuildIt is still a decent city-builder. Again, the tools are in your hands to build and create your own town from scratch; everything from where to lay down the roads, buildings, and even powering the city, is up to you.
The game has some unique touches, like being able to place real world landmarks like the Eiffel Tower in your town, or the ability to trade goods with other players. There’s also a day/night cycle, which definitely adds to the realism. Though SimCity BuildIt probably isn’t what players wanted/imagined when they saw the SimCity title on mobile devices, it’s still a decent city-builder to add to your collection.
5. High School Story
High School Story doesn’t quite fall into the typical category of the city-builder genre, but I’ve still added it to the list, because a huge part of the game is planning and building your own high school! Choose which classes to place, which clubs and hangouts you want your students to attend, decorate with tons of objects, decide which students to enrol, and more.
Besides the city-building aspect, High School Story is also part-RPG/interactive story, where you can create your own character and go through various storylines involving the other students at the school. This is a pretty fun and engrossing game, and a unique take on the typical city-builder!
6. Zoo Craft
Continuing on with the theme of non-traditional city-builders, we have Zoo Craft, a game where you focus on building- you guessed it- a zoo! It’s up to you to plan every aspect of your zoo, from decorations, food stalls, to—most importantly—which animals you want to house at your zoo!
I’ve included it on the list because while it doesn’t allow to you plan a whole city, you can definitely go all out with planning your zoo and expand to your heart’s content with animals, exhibits, food courts and more! After you’ve played the game for a while, your zoo can look like a city of its own with the amount of content you can place down!
7. The Simpsons™: Tapped Out
Ever wanted to recreate your own version of Springfield? Are you a fan of the iconic animated comedy, The Simpsons? Then this is probably the perfect game for you! The Simpsons: Tapped Out is a city-builder which allows you to place the memorable homes and buildings from The Simpsons (everything from the Simpsons’ home to the Kwik-E-Mart), interact with your favourite characters (Bart, Flanders, Krusty the Clown and more!), participate in seasonal events, and basically relive your favourite TV show as a mobile game!
Other TV/Book-Themed City-Builders With Similar Game Play to Simpsons: Tapped Out
If you enjoy the idea of TV/book-themed city-building games, there are a few others worth mentioning, including:
- Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow: Create your own futuristic New York with characters from Futurama, including Fry, Bender, Leela, and more!
- Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff: Recreate Quahog with Peter, Stewie, Brian and other familiar faces from Family Guy.
- Goosebumps HorrorTown: Build a spooky town with haunted houses, defend it from monsters, and relieve some of your favourite Goosebumps stories!
8. Fallout Shelter
The final city builder on the list isn’t quite a city, but it’s the best you can do in a post-apocalyptic future, after all. Fallout Shelter is a mobile spin-off of the popular Fallout game series (specifically Fallout 4), but this game focuses solely on building a small community underground in a blast shelter.
Build up your vault with various types of rooms: bedrooms, diners, service areas and more. Go 2,000 feet below and help your citizens by providing them with food, electricity, entertainment, and most importantly: shelter from the radiation outside! Protect them from raids and monsters, level them up, and send them out into the wasteland to find other survivors and rare loot. Build an efficient vault for your community to survive and thrive in!
Do you have a favourite city-building sim on your Android or iOS device that I forgot to mention? Let me know in the comments section below!
© 2019 Brittany Brown