Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Megacity Builder Gameplay Review

I'm playing Megacity Builder, a city building simulation by Andrew Rowe.

The game features a campaign mode where you manage a nation by constructing cities (each on its own randomly generated maps) that produce different goods; single map games and scripted scenarios are also available. The interface is very laborious: it doesn’t keep the last action selected (which makes placing repetitive things, especially roads and power lines, annoying), it is difficult to de-select things if you select them accidentally (there is no keyboard shortcut, just a build menu button), left-click is used to both place objects and scroll the map leading to lots of mistakes and heavy use of the “undo” button, it is hard to precisely place objects using the mouse pointer, there is no clock to keep track of time for budgetary reasons, and the full-screen budget immediately interrupts what you are doing. Most of the game is typical for a city builder: place residential and commercial areas, connect the road, water, and power lines, and construct services like police, fire, gyms, pools, and schools. There is no traffic simulation in the game, but you can export goods produced in each town for a profit, which gives another source of income and goes beyond simply making industries for jobs. Megacity Builder has some interesting ideas with manufacturing, trade, and having multiple cities to control that work together, but it is severely held back by its awkward interface.