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Historic vs. modern city-building

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In the PC and video game genre of city-building there are usually two naturally occurring distinct sub-genres that arise: 1) games that are primarily historic city-building games in which the player takes control of a historic-based position governing a city (such as a pharaoh, or a Roman governor) in a designated time or place with political and cultural elements distinctive to the specified time and place, and 2) games that are primarily modern city-building games in which the player takes control of a modern city as a modern mayor dealing with issues of modern business, traffic, industry, city ordinances, zoning laws, with a more generalized or nonexistent emphasis on time, culture, political, or military strategy.

Although most city-building games can be identified as either being historic (or political) city-building or modern city-building, it should be noted that many games have some elements of both, such as Utopia, the first city-building game ever made, in which the player creates a modern city which features the generalized modernistic features of modern city-building games, but also adds a militaristic strategy component of defending your city that is found in some historic (or political) city-building games.

Summary Edit

Historic city-buildingEdit

A historic city-building game, which can sometimes also be called a political city-building game, is a city-building game that will usually put heavy emphasis on either a specified time period and culture, or nation,(i.e. controlling a city like ancient Rome in the Roman Empire, or a city like Cairo in Ancient Egypt, etc...), and/or a specific theme for the time period (i.e. political factions during the Cold War as seen in Tropico). Historic city-builders will heavily depend on maintaining the historic theme for the time and culture and, as a result, could involve farming, trading, and manufacturing of goods prevalent in the time for currency. Political strategy is usually present and, sometimes, some military elements such as city invasion and military planning could be present to preserve the theme of the game.

Modern city-buildingEdit

A modern city-building game will usually represent a recent or futuristic time period in which buildings, roads, sidewalks, transportation, and populace are normally representative of modern urban cities around the world. Style sets are normally made to look like a typical generalized modern city and may include buildings typically found in modern New York, Los Angeles, London, Beijing, Tokyo, Dubai, and other large prominent modern cities. Typically modern city-building games are heavily based on economics, civics, and socioeconomic principles, concerns, and goals primarily dependent on modern issues and standards of living.


List of historic (or political) city-building gamesEdit

List of modern city-building gamesEdit

See alsoEdit

City-building game

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