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.