While there are tons of games that feature blatant destruction, collapsing buildings is only charming for a while. A great example of a game that features the purity of destruction is Red Faction Guerilla, as you rove around the Martian landscape while laying waste to every military compound you can find. The whole game was fun, and its finely tuned mix of gunplay and smashing stuff was a welcome change to the theatrical styling of the Modern Warfare series. However, as mentioned above, destruction has its limits, and sometimes a building a house game is more enticing.
There was never really a better example of building than the Sim City games. They ranged from building titanic hospitals, to amusement parks, and even unto whole cities. The inherent charm of being in control has always been fun, thus the whole God Game genre. In Sim City, your task is simply to build the most efficient metropolis you can, all the while juggling the troubles of natural disasters and over consumption.
9. Sims Social
Okay, while the idea of building a life is a far cry from construction, it still employs the same idea. In the title, you basically help your little virtual self grow up to become a constructive member the Sims Society. The society itself happens to be made up of other players online as well. Building your own little mini-life while interacting with real people is a great way to enjoy the game, and it also helps you keep in touch with those buddies you haven’t seen in years. Keep in mind though, people don’t like being alienated with invites they never asked for.
Building games aren’t as fun when they’re set in the present. This is because your city is usually plagued with the same problems that the real world is plagued with, and that’s kind of a downer. So instead of jumping into an oddly topical city construction game, why not slip into the shoes of an ancient Pharaoh. In this title, you are tasked with constructing and maintaining your own Egyptian kingdom. Sure, once in a while you’ll have to face down a few enemies looking to pillage your society, but other than that, the game features a fully fleshed out city construction mechanic. However, it’s also an ancient title, so googling some instruction might help you out a bit.
7. Harvest Moon: Back to Nature
Back when the PS1 was the hottest console on the market, there were a select few titles that really flew under the radar. Harvest Moon is one of those titles, and while it is more like Farmville, remember that this game predates that social title by a few decades. In the game, you play as a young man who has inherited his Grandfather’s farm. The one end game condition is that you make friends with most of the people in the village, while creating a successful farm.
Okay, so Bastion doesn’t really fit into the whole construction category as neatly as it should, but the whole game experience revolves around a society that has little crumbled and crashed. The Kid, as the narrator fondly names him, is on a quest to rebuild the society that he once knew. This title also features a lot of combat, but the smooth fighting mechanics makes it feel fun, as opposed to feeling like a hassle to play. To top that off, the game also features some top notch narration from a bluesy old wise man.
5. The Movies
If ever you get tired of the whole world construction business, then maybe you’d like to build a career instead? In “The Movies”, you play as an amateur film maker who must build his little studio up from nothing. The gameplay in the movies is fairly straight forward, but is also punctuated by some very real problems that studios face daily. From haphazardly built sets, to actors that throw too many temper tantrums, this game has all the realistic problems you can think up, and you have to deal with them all.
4. A Kingdom for Keflings
Moving on to more current titles, a kingdom for keflings is a bit of an oddity, but it remains an extremely fun game. There are some very standard tropes in this title, and while it establishes that these are really nothing new, the variety of building, cutesy atmosphere, and addicting gameplay should keep you coming back for more and more. At the same time, it’s still pretty cheap on XBLA, so maybe now would be the perfect time to pick it up.
3. Dungeon Keeper II
Are you tired of playing the benevolent God? Are you sick of tending to the many needs of your people? If so, maybe the life of a dungeon keeper is the one for you! This game really makes a splash when it introduces the main premise. You play the keeper, and you must make you dungeon impenetrable to heroes and opposing keepers. In doing so, you thwart the attempts of the good to conquer your evil. Another important thing to mention is the expansive customization when it comes to rooms and minions. You can research spells, and task your minions in making even more traps.
You didn’t actually think that in mentioning building games, Minecraft wouldn’t be referenced right? This is like the purest expression of construction because you have to build everything from scratch. On top of that, you also have to gather the stuff you need to build that stuff, in order to get even better stuff. Just to counter the tranquility, you also have to fend off countless enemies whose only aim is to destroy you, and your stuff, so surviving is also a big thing in this game.
Terraria is a lot like Minecraft in many ways. You can build nearly anything you imagine, there are vast cave systems that you can explore, and there’s also a pretty well implemented combat system. The key difference between the two is that this title is a side scroller, and does all of the above with a bit more finesse.