Friday, January 20, 2017

Urban Empire Gameplay Review

I'm playing Urban Empire, a city management and political strategy game by Reborn Interactive and Kalypso Media.

In the campaign mode, you’ll lead a mayoral family from 1820 until (hopefully) 2020. Although the general mechanics play out the same each time, a large variety of events make each game slightly different. The main difference between Urban Empire and more traditional city builders is that most everything is put to a vote, so politics and relationships with parties matter. Districts are placed with zoning layouts, services, and infrastructure support. The city council must approve new districts through a vote; they also will vote on tax rate changes, modifications to existing districts, edicts, and service funding levels. Goodwill can be spent persuading parties to vote your way. A research tree contains inventions that unlock new services and edicts. Citizens have needs in several areas (such as social life, environment, health, and fun) that can be fulfilled by placing services. Urban Empire is a challenging game: it is difficult to consistently turn a monthly profit and still satisfy the needs of the citizens, and getting votes passed requires balance and skill. With an injection of meaningful political considerations, Urban Empire stands out as a city management game.