We continue our coverage of the 2022 Steam Summer Sale with a look at the best deals for city & settlement games! If you’re looking for a new city to micromanage, I hope this list suits you well!
As usual, we’ll have links to the games’ pages as well as current prices at the bottom of the post. Without further ado, let’s get into it!
Why wait for Elon Musk to take us to Mars when real-life crafting tasks take so long? Get to Mars now with Surviving Mars, an atmospheric settlement building game that I’ve got nothing but praise for.
You start the game by landing your drones someone on the surface of Mars and, aside from your starting resources, you’re own your own until you’ve got a stable enough colony to buy more shipments of minerals, robots or humans from Earth.
The progression system is the real star in this game. As you accumulate resources, you unlock better ways of harvesting them, which in turn allows you to upscale your production to the point you can build things like an artificial sun.
All your hard work could easily be derailed, however, when you enter the endgame phase. At a seemingly random point in time, you’ll receive a prompt: Your scouts have found something, or a consequence of your actions begins to manifest. There’s several scenarios (you can pick which one you get on game setup) and they’re all quite riveting. If you’re into sci-fi plots that ask the hard questions, you should definitely play this game.
A game that needs no introduction, Civilization VI (or the franchise as a whole) is a game everyone should try at least once. While the pace may seem glacial at times (even on the fastest speed setting), rest assured the gameplay will keep you hooked for just ‘one more turn’.
As a city & settlement game so closely tied to history, it is hard to think of a worthy rival to Civilization. I’m not much of a history buff, but this game (and previous entries in the franchise) is engaging enough that I end up passively absorbing history facts with each playthrough. That’s right, this game makes you smarter and you don’t even have to study.
In terms of gameplay, most of you time will be spent expanding your empire, improving tiles with facilities such as lumber mills, exploring, negotiating, battling Gandhi, conducting research and spreading your religion to other nations. You don’t need to do this all at once, of course – there’s several ways to win the game. You could grind away at your enemies until none stand in your path, or you could use the power of science and win the space race. All five victory types are equally valid, but take note you should focus your efforts on one, perhaps at most two in order to actually reach the finish line.
Oh, quick fact: Sean Bean narrates this game, and he doesn’t prematurely die in this one.
On a more somber note, pick up Frostpunk if you’re looking to send Victorian children to work in factories for the greater good.
Frostpunk has you taking care of a small settlement of survivors that have fled to the North after a volcanic winter has made most of the globe uninhabitable. Huddling around a generator built by the British Empire and the United States “just in case”, you’ve got to keep people warm long enough to make it past ‘the big cold’ by farming egregious amounts of coal and researching advanced insulation techniques before your Victorian children get frostbitten or starve to death. It’s probably a good time to mention there’s also adults; you’re not in charge of a colony that’s just children.
The game is a masterclass in how to craft that “hope in a hopeless place” vibe. While the moment-to-moment gameplay can become frustrating at times (due to the panic of things not working when the temperature is too low), that hope of pulling through one more night, so your scouts can return with more resources and avert famine or death, makes for an excellent experience.
Tired of living in a city that’s so badly designed it’s one of the top 10 most congested ones worldwide? Well, perhaps you can do a better job in Cities: Skylines!
Of course, managing a real city all by yourself would be a herculean task, but that’s why video games exist, to allow us to achieve the impossible. Achieving success in Skylines is a balancing act between all the various components that make a city function: Water, electricity, education, public services, traffic control, economics and so much more. You might not be thrilled having to deal with some of these aspects, but no one said running a city is always fun! Just you wait until night comes and everything works differently.
Cities: Skylines also has mod support, which means you can both share your cities as well as see what other players have created. Or, you can download a mod that adds Honda cars to your streets. You do you.
For a more animated experience, Northgard’s got you covered with its fast-paced combat – at least, compared to other games on this list.
Take control of a small Viking colony and expand your lands in time to be prepared for the harsh winter. The game starts out as you’d expect some other familiar titles to: You’ve got a town hall and some villagers (read: peasants). Until you expand your colony by claiming more regions, you won’t be able to build more than a few buildings on your small patch of land.
Claiming regions comes at a cost of food, which increases exponentially, making it harder to expand as the game continues. Kobolds, giants and other Viking tribes are [generally] out to get you as well, so you’d do best to not overextend unless you’re prepared to deal with bad neighbors.
Prices & Discounts
Prices may vary based on your region.
- Surviving Mars ($7.49, 75% off)
- Civilization VI ($8.99, 85% off)
- Frostpunk ($7.49, 75% off)
- Cities: Skylines ($6.99, 75% off)
- Northgard ($11.19, 60% off)
Are you an avid city game enjoyer? Have you already sampled some of these titles? Let us know in the comments below!
The Steam Summer Sale is in bloom! Check out our other highlights to find the best deals for you: