This week there is an interesting game being released on steam and that game is called Urban Empire. This game, is set in Europe between the years of 1820 and 2020. Its essence its a turn based city builder but its a lot more than that, its political city building. There are multiple parties and they all have their own agenda. So basically what you’re trying to do is to grow and develop your city and while that is happening you have to deal with the politics behind it.

At the start of a game, you have to chose between 1 of 4 families. The four families have different play styles so obviously there are pros and cons to each family.  This seems like the type of game that would probably be  interesting to play through multiple times as each of the 4 families.

The Four Families. If you click on each link  below, you can see each picture enlarged.

The first family are the Von Pfilzens (pronounced Fill-Zen) are an aristocratic family and they are very conservative and are the traditionalists of the game. To quote the game, “They believe in social hierarchy and the people’s need for stability in a changing world.”This family is all about keeping things the same.

The second family are the Sant’ Elias and they are all about innovation and change. To quote the game again, “Sant’ Elias believe in solving problems through technology, and technological innovation is rapid under their rule. They are known for their almost ravenous hunger for ideas and progress.” This is the technological family, they are all about pushing towards new technology.

The third family are the Kilgannons and they represent the hard working middle class. Early on they care more about the working class, they run labor unions and they try to take care of the little guy. “Respected as heroes of the people, their dediction has made the family very popular with the proletariat.” This family is all about the little guy, early on they care about labor rights then as the game progresses they concern themselves with Women’s rights and I would assume era has a new little guy they take care of.

The fourth family are the Shuyskys (pronounced Shoe-Skis) and they are the arts and cultural family. “They pride themselves on being cultured, civilized patrons of the arts and theater.” So if you want to push arts, this would be the family to do it.

In this game you are the mayor but it’s less of you being one particular person and its more about you being the family. Its a lot like Rome Total War if you’ve played that, you control the family rather than a particular individual.

I mentioned eras earlier and I guess now is a great time to talk about that. There are 5 eras and the first era starts in 1820 which is the Industrial Revolution. The second era is the rise of Nationalism  and this where you’ll start seeing changes to the political scene. The third era is the World War era so its world war 1, the time in between and world war 2. The fourth era slides right into the Cold War. Finally the last era is just simply the Modern Day era. I haven’t played this game so I don’t know specifics but I’m a bit of a history nerd so I can imagine during the world war era you’ll see the rise of fascism and communism.

I apologize, this is the only picture I could find of the Science Tree.

To get in the gameplay itself, there is a science tree for each era and I would assume depending on your particular family, you’ll want to go with specific technologies. I do apologize for the picture, I know its not great. Its the only picture I could find.

I think the most interesting part of this game is how you resolve complications and issues and its all through a political voting system.This is where things can get difficult because you have the multiple parties and they all want to see something different so your goal is going to have to be appeasing as many as you can. Sometimes you’ll have to compromise to gain political favors so you can cash those in later.

That’s all I really know for now, I know its not a lot but this game is coming out very soon and I wanted to get the word out. I do want to give out a friendly warning to keep in mind this game is not a Sim City city building clone. This game is more “complex” where its more about the political side of city building. So if you’re hoping for something like Sim City, you’re going to be greatly disappointed. This game feels like a game thats for people who like politics, are big into history or really enjoy the Civilization series.

The Game comes out on January 20th and if you want to find out more you should check out their Steam page.

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