If 2022 is going to be the year of anything, it’s the year of the city builder, a strategy subgenre that’s been gaining popularity lately, especially on PC. While most efforts focus on expansive cityscapes and Viking outposts, and others create city builders with more systems, Block goes in the opposite direction.
If you have seen or played City dwelleror Dorfromantic, Block has a similar idea: take city-building back to its bare basics and let the player do nothing but drop things on the map and be happy with whatever comes out of it.
Block takes things closer to the bone; while these two games simulate a village, or at least the surroundings of a village, Block only interested in one…block. That’s all you get. There are no instructions you have to follow, you just get a very small space and you can build whatever you want on it.
At the start of each game, you’re assigned a random style (like European and Middle Eastern), you can choose your block size, and then you’re given a map with a tile pre-populated with something. From there, you are given your own tiles and must build from the center, placing a new structure (or park or street) only when it touches an existing building.
It’s the whole experience. No hours, no meta, no optimal construction paths, no energy needs, no public transport, no traffic. It’s more of a toy than a game like a LEGO architecture set or a box of wooden blocks, because there’s no right or wrong way to build anything.
It was me mild criticism Ixion last week For its repeated intervention into what I love most about city builders: the zen-like experience of growing something and watching it grow. Everything is here, and although it is a very simple thing (and priced accordingly for a few dollars) I love it Block for clarity.