The Best City Building Games You Must Have on your Phone

Jan 25, 2017
Simulation

Have you ever tried to build a metropolis from the ground up, then manage your bustling city by catering to the needs of millions of citizens, all the while providing the necessary preconditions of constant development with the right construction projects, shrewd trading, and overall smart, well-thought-out decision-making? We venture to guess that you have not – at least in real life, because the city building game genre has been blossoming for almost 30 years now, delighting gamers all around the world with a colorful selection of city building games, some of which have become best-selling instant classics. Over these three decades, city building games have conquered all gaming platforms, with iPhones not being the exceptions to the rule, which is why we set out to introduce some of the best city building games the App Store has to offer.

SimCity BuildIt

SimCity Buildit is the modernized, iPhone-ized (yup, we’ve just officially made that a word) edition of the city building game that started it all: the original SimCity, launched a lifetime ago in 1989. SimCity BuildIt follows in the footsteps of the legendary predecessor, and takes it up a few notches with eye-pleasing, 3D-quality graphics and enhanced gameplay.

In SimCity BuildIt, the goal is the same as it ever was: strategically build your city, create and trade resources, and keep your citizens happy and satisfied – or do as Samuel L. Jackson would, and strike down upon them with furious anger in the form of natural and unnatural disasters. Moreover, in an exclusive feature called “Future Cities”, you can now build and explore straight-out-of-a-sci-fi hypermodern technologies, and you can take your city building prowess online and battle it out with fellow SimCity fanatics in the Contest of Mayors.

SimCity BuildIt
SimCity BuildIt
Developer:
Price: Free+
SimCity BuildIt
SimCity BuildIt
Developer: ELECTRONIC ARTS
Price: Free+

Forge of Empires

Forge of Empires, another city building game classic, takes you all the way back to the Stone Age, sending you on a journey spanning over several millennia. The goal is to evolve from prehistoric levels by developing cutting-edge technologies (in case you didn’t know the wheel was once considered pretty cutting-edge), discovering, exchanging, and trading goods, exploring new and more efficient production technologies, exploring and taking control of new territories (and of course reaping their benefits), and negotiating and battling your way to total domination.

Forge of Empires is highly addictive, and with a timeline extending way beyond modern times, its gameplay is varied enough to ensure longevity.

Forge of Empires: Build a City
Forge of Empires: Build a City
Developer:
Price: Free+
Forge of Empires
Forge of Empires
Developer: InnoGames GmbH
Price: Free+

The Simpsons: Tapped Out

Ay, caramba! With nearly 300,000 App Store ratings, The Simpsons: Tapped Out has to be the most downloaded city building game for iPhone of all time, which is not a surprise in light of the TV show’s popularity and in light of the fact that the game came out nearly five years ago.

In The Simpsons: Tapped Out, you can repopulate Springfield with the Simpsons characters dearest to your heart, rearrange the city in the most maddening ways, dress your chosen characters in crazy outfits, be cruel or kind to the citizens of Springfield by controlling their lives, and experience unique storylines and content exclusive to the game thanks to regular and seasonal updates, courtesy of none other than the writers of the original show.

The Simpsons™: Tapped Out
The Simpsons™: Tapped Out
Developer:
Price: Free+

Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff

Peter Griffin’s epically chaotic and brutally bloody fights with his arch-rival, the giant chicken, are well documented. The latest round of the legendary duel – the focal point of which is an expired coupon given to Peter by the cunning chicken in question – proves to be more destructive than any of the previous face-offs, as the two combatants run Quahog to the ground. That might be bad news for the citizens of Quahog, but it is the best news ever for Family Guy fans all over the globe, because in Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff, you have to right the wrongs of Peter and the chicken by rebuilding the town any way you like, and keeping your fresh and crispy Quahog safe from the attacks of up-to-no-good chickens (at this point, it is safe to say that the creators of Family Guy have a vendetta against those poor bock-bock-BA-GOCK-ing bastards) and other unforeseeable outside threats.

Another objective of Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff is to take control over your favorite characters, and embark them on hilariously exhilarating quests. As your town grows and as you come back victorious from more and more tasks, your list of achievements will start expanding, resulting in a bunch of unlocked goodies including character-specific outfits (Mermaid Peter and Rambo Lois sure make for a beautiful couple), Petericious decorations for your town (for instance The Peterdactyl and The Petercopter), and an abundance of never-before-seen animations exclusive to the game. Talking of exclusive, the iOS edition of Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff features an extra quest line only available for players on iPhone, iPad, and iPad Touch devices. In this bling-bling side story entitled “Fool’s Gold”, the goal is to help Peter realize his long-time dream of becoming filthy rich – as in rich enough to make it to Forbes’ billionaires list.

Family Guy The Quest for Stuff
Family Guy The Quest for Stuff
Developer:
Price: Free+

Township

Ever since 1973, Lynyrd Skynyrd has been telling us to become as simple of a man as possible under the circumstances we face, which is exactly what you can do in Township – at least compared to the intertwining complexities that you have to constantly go up against in city building games centered on metropolises and empires. As the game’s title suggests to a certain degree, township blends the most typical characteristics of city building games and farming games, putting you in charge of a serene little countryside town that you have to build up from nearly ground zero.

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To lay down the foundation of your town’s blossoming success, you have attend to a variety of matters: harvesting and processing crops, developing innovative processing facilities, exporting, importing, and trading goods, opening an assortment of community buildings to bring fun and excitement into the everydays of your townspeople, breed and take care of animals, collect exotic animal species from all over the world to open your own zoo, and descend into the dark depths of the mine to unearth precious resources and priceless ancient artifacts. The more you give, the more you get, which in the context at hand means that the further ahead your town is on the development scale, the more goodies you’ll unlock, including world-famous landmarks such as London’s iconic Big Ben.

Township: Farm & City Building
Township: Farm & City Building
Developer:
Price: Free+
Township
Township
Developer: Playrix
Price: Free+

Megapolis

Living in a ginormous metropolis is not for the weak-hearted. The world’s largest and busiest metropolises are home to all aspects and forms of human existence from the most delightful to the most hideous, all bombarding you with impulses with reckless abandon 365 and 24/7, easily overstimulating those who care too much, feel too much, or know too much. In Megapolis, one of the most popular city building games for iPhone, the dark side of big city life is nowhere to be found, so even if you’re fed up with the metropolis you call home, you’ll find solace in the challenges of orchestrating the everyday matters of Megapolis.

Before attending to said matters – such as finances -, first you must develop your city’s primary infrastructure (including railway stations, airports, seaports, power plants for various power sources, and oil and gas mining) to get things going, and indulge in trading and alliance-building with neighboring megapolises. Megapolis packs spectacular 3D graphics, over 700 unique buildings and sites, hundreds of construction materials, iconic landmarks from long-forgotten ancient times to modern days, and plenty of tough-to-complete tasks.

Megapolis: Big City Tycoon Sim
Megapolis: Big City Tycoon Sim
Developer:
Price: Free+

Paradise Island 2: Build your City on the Beach

Enough of the troubles and trials and tribulations of mega-, metro-, and other polises! It’s high time we headed to the beach on the island of endless summer to kick a handful of sand straight into the face of stressful big city life. In Paradise Island 2: Build your City on the Beach, you get ahold of an entire island which you have to, step by step, transform into the holiday resort of your dreams bursting with tourist-attracting luxury hotels, leisure time activities, entertainment establishments, all sorts of eateries from fine-dining restaurants to pizza joints, and heaps of shopping opportunities.

Paradise Island 2 comes equipped with more than 300 uniquely drawn buildings, exciting mini games, daily competitions to decide who the best island boss is in the business, the opportunity to visit the islands owned by your friends to send or receive gifts, major projects aimed at rebuilding ancient landmarks, and captivating tropical quests. Paradise Island 2 is mostly online-based, but has an offline mode allowing you to retreat to paradise on the go.

Paradise Island 2: Resort Sim
Paradise Island 2: Resort Sim
Developer:
Price: Free+

City Mania: Town Building Game

City Mania is cute cartoon city builder that lets you not just focus on the structural side of your city but also the people that live in it and all of their unique personalities. Manage your town as it grows from a quiet village into a thriving city full of quirky characters, complete with landmarks such as the Space Needle. Be sure to make your city stand out as you enter the 21st century with skyscrapers and awesome inventions including hoverboards.

The build features available in City Mania really make it stand out from other city builders on the app store thanks to the sheer amount of customization, choose from hundreds of unique buildings and use the merge tool to alter buildings as your city develops over time. Watch your city come to life as you collect and design your very own characters, all with their own personalities and needs. A nice feature is the ability to connect your city with friends, share city buildings tips or just show off your hard work and your awesome city.

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City Mania: Town Building Game
City Mania: Town Building Game
Developer:
Price: Free+

Idle City Empire

Imagine cookie clicker and Sim City all in one game and you get Idle City Empire, an addictive city building game with a focus on making your city as efficient and profitable as possible. Idle City Empire features crisp cartoon graphics and easy to use controls that make it the perfect city builder for players of all ages and doesn’t leave you feeling overwhelmed by confusing controls and tons of tabs that you never quite get your head around.

Start as the owner of a small town with big dreams to become an investment tycoon, manage your businesses and reinvest your money wisely. The ultimate goal is to upgrade buildings and automate your city so that you can sit back and enjoy the profits.

Idle City Empire
Idle City Empire
Developer:
Price: Free+
Idle City Empire
Idle City Empire
Developer: Futureplay
Price: Free+

Paradise Bay

Create your very own paradise with Paradise Bay, join Keani, Skippy and their crew as you work together to restore the island to its former glory and build a thriving seaport that will have visitors coming from across the globe to admire. Manage everything from the harvesting of crops and the selling of valuable goods to discovering treasures once belonging to your island and now lost at sea.

Paradise Bay is not just about building the perfect island but also about exploring and discovering the island’s secrets, a nice aside to the main gameplay collect long-lost map pieces and explore the island and all of the wildlife it has to offer. Paradise Bay is an astatically pleasing game that you will find yourself returning to time and time again as you seek the calm tranquillity of your very own tropical island.

Paradise Bay
Paradise Bay
Developer:
Price: Free+
Paradise Bay
Paradise Bay
Developer: King
Price: Free+

Little Big City 2

Little Big City 2 is a city management game where you take control of your very own tropical island, with full control you decide whether to turn it into an industrial city, technological prodigy or cultural artisan that people will flock to. You’re not completely thrown into the deep end though as you have a team of helpful advisors on hand to guide you through tricky situations and help you learn the ropes.

Managing a city is not all fun and building luxury apartments though as Little Big City includes spontaneous events that can turn you calm paradise island into a disaster zone. Daily news reports help you to keep up to date with the latest news from your people as well as celebrating your most recent achievements. Little Big City 2 features beautifully realistic graphics that leaving you feeling like you really have been transported to a tropical island.

Little Big City 2
Little Big City 2
Developer: Gameloft SE
Price: Free+

Minions Paradise

From paradise to paradise, though this one is a wee bit different. Fumbling-bumbling Minions have taken over the hearts of tens of millions of moviegoers with their banana-munching, gibberish-babbling ways. The yellow candy-looking folks are now taking their unique talents to iPhones in the cutest and most bananatastic city building game ever created, in which they end up on a deserted tropical island after the notoriously clumsy Phil accidentally sinks their cruise ship. Having no other choice, the Minion army sets out to turn their new tropical home into Minions Paradise extraordinaire. Accordingly, the main objective is to make the dreams of your Minions come true by boosting the island’s paradise-factor with necessary accessories such as hot tubs and beach volleyball courts, by sprucing up the place with trees and flowers, by exploring the island’s uncharted territories to find new forms of fun-filled activities, and by providing the daily dose of the holy fruit, i.e. BANANA!. Once the famous trio of silver screen Minions – namely Kevin, Stuart, and Bob – visit your island for a much-needed vacation, you’ll know you’re doing an outstanding job at this paradise-building enterprise. To put the banana-flavored icing on the banana cream-filled cake, you can take on the challenge of completing the missions that put the villainous Professor Flux’s evil master plan into motion, earning level-up tokens along the way with which you can upgrade your most beloved Minions’ abilities. What else could we say…BANANA!

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