HomeReviews3.5/5 ReviewUrbek City Builder Review

Urbek City Builder Review

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We have been obsessed with building gaming cities for decades, all thanks to the classic, SimCity. I think it might be the whole experience of starting from nothing, building up a whole infrastructure from the bare bones to the complex city of your dreams that appeals to gamers. 

On Xbox consoles, there have been a ton of similar games but it’s probably that of Cities: Skylines which seems to have the crown at the moment, especially with a sequel coming. But we have a new contender too – Urbek City Builder, which hopes to bring a whole new sim experience to the world. 

urbek city builder review 1
A new entry into the city building scene

These games are huge in terms of the people hours you will spend in a game of this type. You could be building and tweaking your city into the hundreds of hours, without a care in the world. And you’ll do that without a story, as in Urbek City Builder you are left to get on and make what you like. 

You start by choosing the landmass you want to build your city on and what resources are on offer. You can make this as difficult or as easy to start with as you wish, with things dependent on your choices. You then choose your city name – obviously nothing rude, please – and off you go. 

Urbek City Builder starts by giving you a helpful tutorial, providing all the tools you will need in order to build your city. The big difference between this and other games though is that there isn’t any money to worry about. You don’t have to concern yourself about not having enough cash to build what you need. Instead, the main thing are the resources; you need these to keep progress moving. So in the beginning one of the first things I did was to put down a logging mill near a forest, and a road running into it. I was away and flying. 

When you start building housing you need to connect it with roads and then, as your population starts to grow, you need to feed them. You start with fields, then farmhouses, and then much later shops for food, but it’s all connected and one thing is as important as the other. As you build your city and you get access to a whole host of buildings and structures then you need to worry about your residents being unhappy; pollution problems or shanty towns with policing issues occur. It’s a careful ecosystem that needs balancing, but it isn’t as demanding or punishing as other sim games in this genre. 

urbek city builder review 2
This looks a bit grim

However, we all know that these games come to console with concerns over the control systems. Without the magic use of the mouse, things can struggle. But in Urbek the control systems and menu navigation work brilliantly. In fact, they should be seen as a good lesson to other games. 

But that said, I do think the main problem this game is that there aren’t any tasks to do after the end of the tutorial. I like to be handheld and told what to do or what to aim for. When a game arrives as an open sandbox without goals, I start to lose interest. Of course, that’s personal, but it’s something to take into account.  

That’s not to say Urbek City Builder doesn’t do things right though. The game has a voxel art style with blocky visuals that look great.  It has a brilliant night and day cycle which creates some nice lighting effects. And there is a wonderful feature where you can zoom into your city, right down to a first-person perspective, wandering around to check on how it’s looking. You can change the POV to a pedestrian walking about which is a lovely feature. 

And in terms of audio, whilst things are okay, this is very much one of those games in which you’ll chuck on your own playlist, helping you get through the hours.  

urbek city builder review 3
It all controls nicely indeed

In a genre that is dominated by Cities: Skylines, it’s good to see something new pop up. Especially when it is perhaps a more friendly, simple sim experience like that found here in Urbek City Builder. The systems work perfectly and the control system is great. It’s only the lack of direction and objectives that let this one down. 

Should you be after something to satisfy your building urge then Urbek City Builder is a good option to have.

SUMMARY

Pros:
  • Great control system
  • The reliance on resources
  • Lovely visuals
Cons:
  • Lack of direction or objectives
Info:
  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Rockgame
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One
  • Release date and price - 14 April 2023 | £15.74
Gareth Brierley
Gareth Brierleyhttp://www.garethbrierley.co.uk
I am an actor and a writer. I act quite a bit on stage, a little bit on tv and never on tuesdays. I have had some of my writing published and have written for TV and stage. I have been playing games since they begun and don't seem to be getting any better.
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<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>Great control system</li> <li>The reliance on resources</li> <li>Lovely visuals</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>Lack of direction or objectives</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Rockgame</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One <li>Release date and price - 14 April 2023 | £15.74</li> </ul>Urbek City Builder Review
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