Concrete Jungle Breaks Ground On September 23rd

Concrete Jungle [official site] is a “city planning deck-building game”. I played an in-development version of it earlier this year and thought it was smart, for the way it makes overt the decision-making behind urban expansion and finds a space somewhere between a mathematical puzzle game and Cities: Skylines.

Now there’s a release date – September 23rd, in case you missed the post title – and a new trailer below.

Building in Concrete Jungle happens on a grid, and on the left of the screen is a target number for each row. Different buildings – each represented by cards – add or subtract a number from that total, and confer similar adjacency bonuses to the tiles in other nearby rows. A park placed alongside a suburban home for example might have a positive effect on the numbers across multiple rows, but place a factory alongside that home instead and it’ll have a negative impact.

From there, the game grows in complexity as it introduces new building types, eventually challenging you to build your own decks to deal with each level’s challenge.

Despite the heavy focus on numbers as goals and as the material difference between buildings, it never feels like a city-skinned sudoku because the logic of your decisions makes sense within the thematic context. No one would want to live next to that factory.

Also it’s rather pretty:

Concrete Jungle will be released through Steam and Itch.io for £12/$16. It’ll initially be on Windows, with a Mac version to follow.

17 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    Wisq says:

    Who could plan for such an interesting intersection of genres? I guess if you build it, they will come.

    I’ll be sure to block out some time for this when they finish building it.

  2. cluster says:

    Backed the game, and tried the “alpha builds”, great game, don’t hesitate to give it a try. I love how it mixes several genres with success and bring new gameplay ideas to the table. Graphics are neat too.

  3. FarbrorMartin says:

    This looks like an obvious clone of Megacity HD.

    • FarbrorMartin says:

      Hehe, just checked their site, and it IS a clone. It’s even made by the same guys :P

      • Eukatheude says:

        Hehe, was about to post the same thing.

      • Colej_uk says:

        Hehe, developer here- nice to know MegaCity fans have my back! I hope you enjoy Concrete Jungle.

        • Bernardo says:

          So is Concrete Jungle also going to be available on mobile, specifically Android?

          • Colej_uk says:

            Eventually yes, it’s PC for now but I have plans for mobile/tablet at a later date. I’d rather focus on one platform at a time and as a PC gamer myself I’d rather that be first.

          • Bernardo says:

            Thanks! I’ve no qualms with playing it on PC, but MegaCity is one of my go-to games for bus and train rides, so I’m looking forward to a mobile version.

        • TechnicalBen says:

          Great to hear that it’s coming to mobile. I’ll get for PC I think.

          Not sure if I get the chance, but when I do, I try to support real “games” on mobile. :)

  4. Shadow says:

    And here I thought SimCity’s maps were small.

  5. Premium User Badge

    Admiral666 says:

    Were it only the 23rd.

  6. mseifullah says:

    I’ve never been a fan of city builders, but competently mixing a deck builder with any other genre pretty much puts me into “shut up and take my money” mode. As long as the reviews don’t drag this game through the mud, I’m pretty much on board.

    • Hobbes says:

      The game plays great, I’ve been part of the testing group (and was one of the backers), seriously. It’s great. From what I understand, the price point is going to be pretty reasonable as well. You’d be mad to miss out on giving this one a go.

  7. der_Zens0r says:

    it looks lovely. I wish they had those lovely old skycrapers in Cities: Skylines…

  8. BlackeyeVuk says:

    Art style is just charming. Game concept looks interesting, I’ll definitely give this a try.

  9. Hobbes says:

    As a note, if anyone has played megacity, which this is the direct spiritual sequel, they’ll feel right at home, but be warned. Cole has donned the horn and cape.

    Seriously, he has. The card side of it means he’s gone to town with various concepts such as cards that -do not- recycle back into your deck (in effect, buildings that are “consumed” once built). This means that some of the old tactics such as spamming renovations on buildings won’t actually work because that’s now a consumable card (it gets you out of trouble -once-) and once used, it’s gone from your deck for good.

    This means there’s a really, really high skill cap in this game. It’s easy enough to play a quick game and do “okay” at, but if you want to pile on a good score, or if you want to build a really long city streak, you’re going to have to master the various concepts that the game has to offer, such as the concept of blocks (that’s when you group like sets of city tiles together), and knowing when to blow consumable cards and when to build out your deck with solid core cards, as well as maximising your combos (as there’s a huge multiplier for getting several rows at once).

    In short, this game really rewards skilful, measured play. A lot of the “easy” strategies in megacity that’d allow you to get decently far have gone out of the window, but with the introduction of the levelling system that runs in tandem with the deckbuilding system in game (think Ascension style deckbuilding on a per game basis), you’ll be rewarded for planning ahead -and- being flexible with your thinking.