What if you could have the power to shape entire cities at the tip of your thumbs? While this may not be feasible in real life, it sure is possible through video games. Here are the 10 best city building games available on Nintendo Switch that will let you shape your dream megalopolis without leaving the comfort of your sofa.
Kingdom is an indie 2D sidescroller with pixel art graphics. You play as the king or the queen of your own procedurally generated kingdom. Your goal is to make your kingdom thrive.
To do so, you will need to spend your coins wisely. You can hire mercenaries to protect your kingdom against outside threats, build defenses around your town, or set off to explore a nearby mysterious forest. But be careful, as these lands are not peaceful. Various creatures will try to destroy everything you built and steal your coins and crown. It is up to you to find the best way to protect your kingdom and become the best ruler ever.
#9 Civilization VI
Why limit yourself to building a city when you can shape an entire civilization? Civilization VI puts you at the head of your own civilization as it goes through the challenges of time.
There are five ways to win a game in Civilization VI: Science, Culture, Domination, Religion, and Score. The second expansion of the game, Gathering Storm, adds a sixth victory condition: Diplomacy. No matter the route you take, you will have to build various cities and optimize their districts.
If you are looking for a relaxing indie city building game on the Nintendo Switch, Townscaper is worth checking out. With its low-poly colorful graphics, this game doesn’t really have a goal. There is no story to follow, no stressful timer or budget. Just quaint island towns to build.
Oskar Stålberg, the developer of Townscaper, describes the game as an “experimental passion project, more of a toy than a game.” The gameplay is straightforward: you place blocks above the water that automatically turn into little houses, arches, stairways, bridges, and lush backyards, depending on their configuration.
Minecraft is a staple when it comes to building games. The entire game revolves around the idea of placing blocks to build anything – cities included.
You can create pretty much anything in Minecraft, from a quaint little town to a megalopolis filled with skyscrapers. Some players built impressive cities in the game, like realistic versions of New York City, Dubai, London, or King’s Landing from Game of Thrones. As everything is made out of cubes, your imagination is the only limit to what you can build.
#6 Prison Architect
Instead of building a boring town, you can craft your own jail with Prison Architect. As its name suggests, the game allows you to be the architect of a prison. Forget about your Orange is the New Black fantasy: this prison is far from being as sexy.
Prison Architect is full of violence but its graphics don’t make it too gore. Even if you build the perfect prison, your inmates won’t be happy to be behind bars. Expect full-scale riots, fights, or even fire. You can also switch places and become an inmate yourself, with the goal to escape a supermax prison.
City building doesn’t have to be stressful. Islanders, an indie city-building game on Nintendo Switch, understood that perfectly. It offers a procedurally generated island where you can create your settlement and expand it into a big city.
With its minimalistic interface and low-poly graphics, Islanders brings a peaceful way to create your own city. There are various buildings to place to expand your town, each granting points depending on their placement. Overall, Islanders offers a relaxing experience “at the price of a medium sized pumpkin spice matcha caramel latte,” according to its official description.
#4 Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Building a city is cool, but you know what is even cooler? Shaping an entire tropical island!
Animal Crossing: New Horizons was the most popular game during the pandemic, as it allowed players to escape to a sunny place and hang with friends without even leaving their couch. In this game, you get a chance to start everything from scratch. You become the mayor of your own tropical island, and even if you have to pay a mortgage to Tom Nook, you are as free as a bird.
Not only does Animal Crossing: New Horizons let you customize your island, but you can also choose who gets to be your neighbor. You can shape everything on your island, creating rivers or cliffs wherever you like. And if you don’t like a neighbor, you can just thank them away to make room for a new furry friend.
#3 Airborne Kingdom
Building cities on the mainland or an island is too common for you? Then set off for the skies with Airborne Kingdom. This game lets you manage your own floating town, soaring through the skies as you tend to your inhabitants’ needs.
On top of managing your city, you will have to make sure never to run low on fuel so you don’t crash your perfect city on the ground. Maintaining lift and balancing weight is just as important as building houses and satisfying the needs of your citizens.
#2 Tropico 6
Have you ever dreamt of becoming a dictator? You can fulfill that fantasy with Tropico 6. In this game, you play as the dictator of a Caribbean island and must do whatever it takes to make your land thrive.
Of course, the inhabitants of your island may not always be chilled about you ruling without mercy. There might be an uprising you will need to crush. But other than that, it feels quite satisfying to build houses and industries to make sure your island thrives and your inhabitants stay happy. And if they are not, you can always make them disappear, like any proper dictator.
#1 Cities Skylines
Cities Skylines is a modern version of city building games like SimCity. Your goal is to build and manage a thriving city, its various neighborhoods and activities.
The biggest challenge in Cities Skylines is to make sure your city keeps on thriving. The inhabitants need a roof over their heads, a job, medical facilities, school, and of course restaurants, bars, and pubs. But you must also think about general services like power, water, and sewage. Cities Skylines is a detailed city building game on the Nintendo Switch that requires careful management.