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Experimental Architecture: Block'hood On Early Access

Utopia or dystopia?

If you're the sort to dream of utopian megablocks in elaborate, irregular shapes with crops and wind turbines on the roof and trees all around, you might be interested in Block'hood [official site]. If you're me, I might mean. I'm interested in Block'hood. It's a sim about building and managing small neighbourhoods, balancing commerce, energy, food, pollution, waste, and so on in an urban ecosystem. It looks somewhere between SimCity and SimTower, with maybe a touch of The Sims. And it looks pretty. And it has launched on Steam Early Access today.

Yes, Block'hood will let you build gleaming utopian megablocks bristling with pod apartments and trees, but is that functional? You need a strong infrastructure, and Block'hood has no shortage of resources to balance or block types to play with. You'll find solar panels, oil derricks and generators, planters for crops, mist collectors, solar heaters, hydroponic farms, recycling plants, fish farms... 96 blocks so far, giving plenty of scope for different visions. These lead to 20 resources to manage, with different benefits and consequences. Building a utopia is probably quite tricky. I must play this evening.

Creator Jose Sanchez is an architect who researches and teaches at the USC School of Architecture as well as making games, y'see, so Block'hood's jolly interested in testing the viability of different approaches to the future.

Along with a sandbox mode to build whatever and experiment, Block'hood has a challenge mode where levels have specific targets and types of block.

Block'hood is £6.99/$9.99/€9.99 on Steam Early Access. The plan is to properly launch in late summer or early autumn, after following feedback and adding new block types, challenge levels, simulated people, and more.

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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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