SimCity is one of the original city building games. Although Cities: Skylines now holds the crown of city development and management, SimCity holds a place in the hearts of many aspiring urban planners. And with good reason.
However, if you don’t have time to play SimCity or Cities: Skylines, why not try a browser-based city building alternative? Online city building games may not have the same depth as SimCity, but they are a lot of fun.
Here are the best online city building games that run in your web browser.
Toy Box Metropolis is a 10-round city builder with a difference: it’s located on the floor of the kids’ room. Your city is not growing organically. Instead of zoning out and letting residents and businesses overwhelm your city, Toy Box Metropolis gives you a few doable elements at every turn.
For example, you can select the Buildings option, which in turn lets you select various city buildings such as houses, mansions, offices, restaurants, and so on. Selecting a Landmark allows you to place a gallery, stadium or statue. And the Utilities option has a power station, police station, recycling center, and other city features.
At each turn, you use building placement points to upgrade existing buildings. Upgrading buildings earns (or loses) points in one of five objective categories, such as Appearance, Culture, and Wealth. At the start of each Toy Box Metropolis game, you choose from a list of goals and your actions determine your final score.
Final Earth 2 is a colony management and city builder game set in the future. Your new city inhabits rocks floating in space. Due to unspecified reasons, Earth is now uninhabitable, so this rock is mankind’s new home.
Final Earth 2 works from a side up 2D pixel view. You place buildings to slowly rebuild humanity. Your workers are semi-automated, doing whatever tasks are available from the buildings you have built. But if you want workers to go from chopping wood to mining stone, you have to direct them.
There are more grain options too. One of your initial tasks is to build a logging hut. If you choose a Forest where your workers collect resources, you can decide whether to cut down the forest and regrow it, protect it indefinitely, or cut it down and uproot it.
Final Earth 2 strikes a fine balance between deep city building and resource management, and caters to casual city building enthusiasts. RimWorld fans will enjoy this one.
Micropolis Online is a browser port of the original SimCity. This is very basic. You can place roads, trains and airports. You have a choice between coal and nuclear power. Your zones come in solid blocks that you place one at a time. Like modern city building games, your Residential, Commercial and Industrial zones go up over time, increasing your tax revenue.
If you feel bad, you can choose from one of six disasters to befall your residents. Or, turn your fledgling Micropolis into a hellhole with no Fire or Police.
One important thing to note is that you cannot save your Micropolis city without creating an account. If you close your browser window by accident, your civilization will.
Micropolis is also one of those games that you can play on your Raspberry Pi without an emulator. But if you need a Raspberry Pi game controller check out our article on Best Game Controller For RetroPie
If you want to play city building games in your browser, why not play one of the best of all time? SimCity 2000 is available to play in your browser.
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How? Play Classic lets you play a number of classic and legendary DOS games right from your web browser. The site integrates a DOSBox emulator, allowing you to run SimCity 2000 as if it were 1993 again.
The SimCity 2000 Classic Play experience is exactly the same as the original. It’s easy to use, boots up with no additional input, and, importantly, you can save your games.
City Creator is a different take on the city building genre. This is also a refreshing thing. In City Creator, you don’t compete for resources or respond to housing demand. Instead, you can choose from the available elements to build the perfect cityscape.
City Creator features stunning pixel art that you drag and drop from an isometric perspective. There are three sets of buildings to choose from, each with a unique style. Within each building set there are roads, pathways, buildings of all shapes, different roofs, and much more. You can combine different building objects in each building set to create some interesting and (sometimes) complex designs.
City Creator is great because it approaches city buildings from a completely different angle and draws on them well.
Kongregate is famous for its various browser games. Idle City Builder is a very easy approach to building a city. In fact, you don’t have to do much city building at all. Idle City Builder is an idle game, meaning it continues without your input.
In this case, you are waiting to collect a certain number of coins to unlock the next level of buildings, level up the Poor House, Hut, Shop and many more.
Idle City Builder won’t fit into everyone’s idea of what a city building game is. You don’t place buildings, drag zones, or set tax rates. However, you upgrade and upgrade your buildings over time, with each upgrade slightly changing the building’s design. Plus, because it’s an idle game, you won’t have to spend hours perfecting every aspect of your city. It just goes with it, without your input.
Final Earth 2 is one of the best browser-based city building games available today. This is not a traditional SimCity alternative. But The Final Earth 2 combines strategy, resource gathering, and building elements for a complete and entertaining browser game.
If you want a more traditional SimCity-like experience, Micropolis has plenty to offer, though some might find the slightly slower speeds and lack of visual development frustrating.