• Publisher: Kalypso
  • Release Date: Jan 20, 2017
Urban Empire Image
Metascore
62

Mixed or average reviews - based on 20 Critics What's this?

User Score
5.2

Mixed or average reviews- based on 36 Ratings

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  • Summary: Urban Empire is a ‘City Ruler’, pioneering a new breed of strategy game that combines city builder features with political scheming and adds profound social and historical events into the mix, creating a whole new gameplay experience.
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Urban Empire - Teaser Trailer
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 20
  2. Negative: 1 out of 20
  1. Mar 4, 2017
    75
    While exploring the many intricacies can be downright frustrating, and the political game can get difficult, Urban Empire is a game unlike any other in its genre. I’ve never played a sim that actually follows the rules of the democracy we have today. That alone makes it a unique enough title to at least try out. I just wish there was a little extra polish or at least a more thorough explanation on how the smaller intricacies in the game work.
  2. Jan 23, 2017
    70
    Interesting city builder concept with a political focus, but it lacks information and fine tuning.
  3. Jan 30, 2017
    70
    It is not your run of the mill city builder and it is hard to market something so different from the norm. That difference is not just a weakness, though, it is also a strength. I can guarantee you that you’ve not played anything like this before and the community - is - figuring it out, slowly. Urban Empire is a breath of fresh air and for that reason alone it is worth checking out.
  4. Jan 23, 2017
    61
    If you always wanted to experience boring council meetings first hand, Urban Empire got you covered. The political machinations of this so-called city ruler are presented way too dry to elicit any other response than eye-rolling. While the part about building a city and researching new technologies is way more fun, there simply isn’t enough feedback for players to penetrate the game’s intricacies. With only a few, small maps to build on and no mod support, Urban Empire makes a poor case for itself.
  5. Feb 4, 2017
    60
    The stronger Scenarios can't rescue Urban Empire from being disappointingly average however. A few quality of life tweaks here and there could have achieved a great deal in making Urban Empire a more engaging experience. With little noticeable cause and effect you're stuck prodding buttons until you hopefully stumble on solution, which sadly flies in the face of strategy as we know it.
  6. Jan 26, 2017
    60
    Urban Empire is a trying game, but there's beauty in how it captures the many obstacles that plague political life, but it’s still marred by instances of poor execution and an unwieldy user interface. Still, if you've ever wanted to know what a more realistic, less tongue-in-cheek rendition of SimCity would be like, you could do a lot worse. If you're willing to spend the time, Urban Empire has a lot to show you, but it comes with its share of annoyances.
  7. Feb 22, 2017
    45
    To some extent, Urban Empire is a game that plays itself. Buildings grow higher and higher, factories crop up on empty plots, citizens open up new shops - all without your input. It could've been a fun zen experience, but everything is artificial and lifeless, and, despite milktoast graphics, the game at times is too sluggish.

See all 21 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 11
  2. Negative: 3 out of 11
  1. Mar 3, 2017
    10
    This game is fantastic. I will admit, it has a large learning curve. The creator of this game made an excellent new genre of City Building,This game is fantastic. I will admit, it has a large learning curve. The creator of this game made an excellent new genre of City Building, Real Time Strategy, and Turn based gaming. I have been playing city builders since the original Sim City. This game has all of the fun of those games, with an added element of politics. You must learn to work with, and destroy, the political parties to get the things you want passed. This makes it a very realistic game, and fun once you get the hang of it.

    I really believe that those who gave this game a low score should take another look. It definitely takes several plays to figure it out. But, that is OK, because once you do, it is a ton of fun.
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  2. Feb 12, 2017
    10
    After a complete play-through, I believe I can judge the game in its entirety. For a strategy lover like myself, it was honestly a veryAfter a complete play-through, I believe I can judge the game in its entirety. For a strategy lover like myself, it was honestly a very refreshing experience with different elements of gameplay than what we're used to see in this category of games.

    Obviously, it really lacks polish on some aspects that were largely reviewed by other criticisms (lack of explanations, uselessness of infrastructures, weird taxation system, shortage of data sets ...) but overall, I was positively surprised by the mechanics and delighted to see my economy flourish.

    I believe the game tries to paint an accurate picture of the life of a mayor having to lead a city, with multiple statistics at hand without knowing exactly what investment will modify citizen needs. Another thing most reviewers apparently dismissed was to spread large investments as institutions on multiple districts. I continued to create districts at a fast pace and ended up covering the entire map around the middle of the IV era and I can tell you money flowed (I ended up the game with a capital of 76M and a monthly net income of 1450k), the key is having your city grow by creating new districts (without any infrastructure, at least before the last era).

    10 is maybe not an accurate note but I did put it to offset the abusive 0-2 scores. The game is worth a solid 8.
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  3. Jan 21, 2017
    9
    I love it. Great, smooth mix of apolitical simulation with City building features. Don't expect a city builder though, it is more macroI love it. Great, smooth mix of apolitical simulation with City building features. Don't expect a city builder though, it is more macro management like.. Expand
  4. May 13, 2017
    6
    Urban Empire is not a city building game.

    In Urban Empire your main goal will be to stay in control. If you want to place something as
    Urban Empire is not a city building game.

    In Urban Empire your main goal will be to stay in control. If you want to place something as trivial as a police station, you have to be able to pay for it, pay the service costs, have your political allies and enemies approve it during a vote and be sure that the running costs don't kill your city long time.

    Personally, i didn't have any technical issues but there's some reports in the Forums you might wanna check out. The overall gameplay is fine but feels lacking in some aspects and now and then it's not exactly clear how some things play together until you've done some trial and error. However, overall it still makes for a good and unique game.

    If you're looking for a city builder, there are better options available. If you're looking for something you have to work into and quite time intensive, but is quite rewarding this might be for you.
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  5. Feb 15, 2019
    6
    Urban Empire has ambitious goals in trying to work as a city builder and political simulator, yet by attempting to cobble a game that willUrban Empire has ambitious goals in trying to work as a city builder and political simulator, yet by attempting to cobble a game that will appease fans of both genres, it ends up being a rather restrictive and confusing city builder, with a rather bland political layer. Sure, the soundtrack is pretty good and I love how you can roleplay as generations of mayors that belong to one of four dynasties, but those are the only things that are really going for this game. Tropico seems to be the preferable choice if you want something that strikes the perfect balance between city builder and political sim; Reborn Games have given their best shot at it, but they're not quite there yet. Expand
  6. Jan 22, 2017
    5
    This game is a good example for a good idea, executed very badly and poor. This is a political/economical city management/"tycoonish" game.This game is a good example for a good idea, executed very badly and poor. This is a political/economical city management/"tycoonish" game.
    IMHO: The most important thing in developing a game like this, is game mechanics. Looks like they went for graphics instead. Because the graphics are very good for example. But the game mechanics are terrible. This voting and council system was a very good idea! But for god sake... the votes and the council itself are working like an idiot.
    For example: Sometimes even if you have a lot of money, they don't want to build anything. They vote no to train station, no to new district, no to everything. My first (and probably the last) try in this game was 2.2 hour. In this more than 2 hours i was able to build: 2 district, a police station, a clinic, and gas lamps. Nothing else. I progressed to almost 1900 but i doesn't feel any "accomplishment". Tho voting and council are working very badly and seemingly (other reviews) random. No real simulation or common sense at all. This is the part where this game fails big time. Not mentioned the sometimes inexplicable childish manifestations in game. I'm very sad.. not expected this. And for last but not least: Very overpriced!
    If you are fan of the tycoons, manager, simulation, games: Not recommended to buy at all (at any price)!
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  7. Jan 25, 2017
    0
    After spending the last week playing this game, 42 hours in total, I have found the game to have some serious issues. The game economy isAfter spending the last week playing this game, 42 hours in total, I have found the game to have some serious issues. The game economy is completely unbalanced. The infrastructure, like electricity, for example, has no positive net value in the long run and costs way too much. You end up spending way more money on infrastructure upkeep than you get back from benefactors (like industry) in return so the game forces you to increase taxes which kills city growth. The game also has issues with zone density. Increasing the density of a zone should not cost any money or have any upkeep, but the game developers decided that rezoning a district from light density to medium density should completely wipe out whatever funds you have saved up, with an upkeep so high that by the time the area develops with medium density and money is flowing again, you're in the hole 3 or 4 thousand (which is a lot in this game), and you're not making a whole lot more than before the rezoning. So the incentive to increase city density (which should be really fun to do), isn't there. In fact, it's the opposite. You avoid rezoning to higher densities, and that to me defeats the purpose of a city building game. I do not recommend this game unless the developers fix these disastrous game-play issues. Expand

See all 11 User Reviews

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