While the bones of a decent city builder appear to be present, the lack of a formal tutorial or even decent guidance make it aggravating
Having been a long-time fan of the SimCity series (back before EA acquired Maxis and promptly killed all of its properties) it has been a while since I’ve seen an urban planning game that gets anywhere near those classics. Even at a fundamental level it’s clear that Urbek City Planner isn’t remotely trying to aim that high, delivering what feels like a more simplified and streamlined experience that’s purposely more constrained overall. Since this is for console the simplification does at least help to make the controls more manageable and avoid drilling down into multiple screens of information, so at least on that level it feels appropriate for the Switch. Where things take a big hit is unfortunately that you’re sort of dropped off at the sandbox with pretty well no direction or help. Yes, you’ll get messages telling you why you can’t place something in a specific spot, and visually you’ll get indicators for where you can and can’t place things, but that’s about it and the wordings of the “help” aren’t always terribly clear. If you’re really a huge city building fan, considering the lack of choices on the system you may want to give this a look, but if your interests are more on a casual curiosity level I’d simply keep waiting for someone else to take a crack at the genre rather than simply settling for this.
Justin Nation, Score: