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Cowboy builders: Constructor demo erected wonky

A demo is out for Constructor [official site], System 3’s remake of their estate-building strategy game from 1997. I really dug the original and its classic silly British sensibilities, building up my own estates while sabotaging my rivals’ neighbourhoods with dodgy plumbers, killer clowns, gangsters, and thugs. This remake has been delayed a bit and the demo has troubles of its own, but I am still quite keen for this to launch in full later this month.

Constructor is certainly not SimCity. We build estates building-by-building in a strange dance between property management and warfare. You’re always trying to out-do your rivals, see, so you want to build ‘Undesireables’ you can send out to sabotage them. But you’re bankrolled by tenants paying rent, so you need to build houses and care for their needs with things like keeping their homes in good nick and buying knick-knacks for their gardens. The intertwined system of housing and tenants which function as its tech tree follows the British class system from the bottom up, with a whole lot of silly English voices along the way. It’s an unusual combination.

The demo contains a tutorial with Boycie off Only Fools and Horses teaching the basics of estate management, as well as 12 minutes to play in singleplayer. A time-limited demo might seem stingy but heck, I played in the original’s sandbox mode for months so I understand the decision.

Swing by Steam and find that ‘Download Demo’ button to get on it.

The demo actually came out on Friday but it’s been a shambles so I’ve waited before posting. It suffered a string of problems including a missing executable, false positives from anti-virus software, and other bugs. It’s now… still a bit wonky. The demo works well enough to introduce what Constructor is, and notworks enough to make me wary about buying the full game right away. I do like like its HD-ified look, though. We’ll see how it shakes out.

Constructor is due to launch on May 26th, priced at £24.99/29,99€/$29.99.

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Alice O'Connor

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When not writing news, Alice may be found in the sea.

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