Cities: Skylines is a modern take on the classic city simulation. The game introduces new game play elements to realize the thrill and hardships of creating and maintaining a real city, whilst expanding on some well-established tropes of the city building experience. From the makers of the Cities in Motion franchise, the game boasts a fully realized transport system. It also includes the ability to mod the game to suit your play style as a fine counterbalance to the layered and challenging simulation. You’re only limited by your imagination, so take control and reach for the sky!
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Both Colossal Order and Paradox are well known for producing a whole run of high-quality games, but if you’re looking for something else along the simulation and city-building theme, I suggest Foundation, an early access game from Polymorph Games that takes a stab at creating a gridless medieval city building experience.
The aesthetic is seriously delightful, and the way that the world grows feels more natural than many city building games, where it can feel more like setting a domino string in motion than watching a living settlement take shape.
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The Epic Games Store has been around for a while, the lesser-known alternative to Steam, the nearly-ubiquitous platform for game purchases since it launched in 2003. But, where Steam originally existed and launched to promote Valve games, Epic Games Store launched in 2018 and quickly rose to success on the Fortnite franchise. At the time of Epic’s launch, Steam took a dramatic 30% cut from the sales of video games through their platform! This hurt both game designers and users, just wasn’t very nice. But the folks behind Epic realized something excellent: they could take a much lower cut and still have a profitable business. This led them to fast domination of the indie market, as small publishers flocked to the far better terms offered by Epic.
Epic Games Store offers some seriously incredible discounts on a regular basis, in addition to all the normal discounts one would expect on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the usual holidays. But the most exciting is their weekly free game or add-on, which simply harpoons all competitors.
When I first heard about this free game, I thought that can’t be real. They must only offer tiny indie games. Not at all, dear reader. Not. At. All. Epic frequently lists unbelievable A-lister games on their weekly deal, as well as sometimes offer two free games instead of one. In addition, just because a studio is smaller doesn’t mean the games it makes aren’t impressive. I’ve picked up some of my favorite new games, for free, from this platform, and most of them have been made by smaller studios (or as side-projects for teams from big studios).