Urban Empire - Manage your dynasty

We were saving last week Urban Empire, So I went to test, intrigued by this new city management game!

The game begins with two choices, campaign mode or scenario mode. Needing a tutorial to learn the basics of the game, I opted for a scenario. I then have the choice between four families.

Then between three places. Having clicked on a random location to watch what was on offer, the game immediately started and I didn't get to see the others. I find myself at the edge of the sea (or of a large lake), in an area virgin of any construction. The camera is moved with the mouse or the keyboard. I can zoom in / out with the wheel or keep the wheel pressed to change the angle. Now that I know how to look everywhere, it's time to build by drawing an area determined by different anchor points (right click to add one). It must be of the correct size and connected to a road. The districts are then created automatically, divided into several types (residential, mixed, commercial, industrial).

On the other hand, I cannot manage the buildings, just put up a town hall, then a school. Buildings like the school have zones of influence (identified by the optimal service scope and the secondary service scope), so I put it in the middle to have to offer the benefit of the service to the maximum number of people. There will of course be more services unlocked as you progress (like a clinic), as well as neighborhood facilities (like gas).

Cities are defined according to eight criteria: happiness, social life, security, environment, health, personal development, entertainment, balanced budgets. In addition, we have five indicators: party support in the city, prestige, gray matter, equity, city money. We will therefore have to do with all that to get by and put the maximum number of meters in the green! All this data is displayed at the top of the screen and different graphics summarize the changes. If you like numbers, you've got it!

The most problematic mainly concerns money. Buildings are expensive, very expensive. Suddenly, impossible to put all the buildings that I would like without being in the red or raising the tax rate in a shameful way.

In order to advance science, there is a technology tree that starts with Safety Authorities (improves health and safety), Thermodynamics (unlocks the clothing store, improves safety and benefits businesses with the train station), Gas network (improves security with gas lighting and decorated streetlights, unlocks the chemical industry) or Telegraph (unlocks Newspapers and Shoe Shop and increases the social life of residents with the Church). As the eras and the evolution, there are more and more options, and more and more possibilities.


Three political parties are opposed in the city (others are added to the chessboard as we go), and we have to deal with it to pass the decisions. When the votes are tight, it is possible to make a speech either by pleading, imposing, or threatening others. Success is never guaranteed, of course, even if for the moment I haven't had much trouble getting all my decrees passed by making speeches, changing the opinion of parties that are historically opposed to certain political choices. I thus changed the tax rate to ensure a better financial balance in my city and, even if they were initially opposed, I still managed to make accept the changes by threatening my small world. What is a shame, however, is that most decrees are morally acceptable (child labor, animal protection, women's rights ...) which suddenly makes the game lose a potential depth (I would have liked having to fight against others to prevent some iniquitous laws from passing).

Finally, from time to time, things happen, and you have to make a decision.

Before concluding, a few images of the city through the periods.

This simulation is nice, fully dubbed in spanish, but lacks personalization and depth. It is impossible to retail houses and stores, just large areas and then everything is generated automatically. So don't expect a City Builder like Cities Skyline but more of a political / economic simulation. But I wonder what are the real impacts of my political choices when I see the ease with which I can pass all my decrees and all my decisions. In addition, there are a lot of numbers everywhere and sometimes there is nothing to do except wait for the parties to decide on a decision or for a technological research to be completed. If you are looking for a simulation that you can spin while watching TV, this is great. If you are looking for a complex game in which to immerse yourself completely, you should look elsewhere as you may quickly get bored.

You can find the game on Steam or otherwise at a great price from our partner, Kinguin.

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