Our favorite city builders are super cheap in the Steam Base Builder Fest

Cities Skylines
(Image credit: Paradox Interactive)

The Steam Base Builder Fest is underway, and it's already proving to be an excellent occasion for us to indulge our mayoral dreams in some dirt-cheap city builders.

As the name suggests, the Base Builder Fest encompasses an array of genres, including excellent survival games like Subnautica and Valheim or great factory-builders like Satisfactory and Dyson Sphere Program. But SimCity's long absence means that I'm always hungry for urban planning and macroeconomics, so here are a few of the best city-building games, colony sims, and management games you can get as part of the sale.

  • Cities: Skylines ($8.99 at 70% off) (opens in new tab) is the city builder of record in this post-SimCity world, and it's not the most strategically deep management game on the market, it still provides some incredible tools for building the city of your dreams.
  • Frostpunk ($7.49 at 75% off) (opens in new tab) is for those of you who've always wondered what city-building games would be like if you could freeze to death in the middle of a bad winter - the answer is in this fantastic, intensely challenging strategy game.
  • Dorfromantik ($9.79 at 30% off) (opens in new tab) exists on the complete opposite side of the spectrum from Frostpunk, letting you zen out by simply placing landscaping tiles how you want.
  • Townscaper ($3.89 at 35% off) (opens in new tab) completely pulls the stress out of city building, giving you something more akin to a toy than a game - but it's a wonderfully chill, relaxing toy nonetheless.
  • Surviving Mars ($7.49 at 75% off) (opens in new tab) takes the city-building concept to Mars, where you've got to serve the needs of colonists attempting to make their way on the red planet.
  • Two Point Hospital ($8.74 at 75% off) (opens in new tab) is smaller in scope than the other selections here, but a robust simulation and charmingly goofball sensibilities make it one of the most memorable management games out there right now.
  • Dwarf Fortress ($26.99 at 10% off) (opens in new tab) is not just a city-building game, it's a history-building game, and perhaps the most robust simulation ever to exist in the world of video games.
  • RimWorld ($27.99 at 20% off) (opens in new tab) might be best described as the friendlier version of Dwarf Fortress, and it remains one of the best colony-building games out there.

Check out our guide to the best city building games for more you might be interested in.

Dustin Bailey
Staff Writer

Dustin Bailey joined the GamesRadar team as a Staff Writer in May 2022, and is currently based in Missouri. He's been covering games (with occasional dalliances in the worlds of anime and pro wrestling) since 2015, first as a freelancer, then as a news writer at PCGamesN for nearly five years. His love for games was sparked somewhere between Metal Gear Solid 2 and Knights of the Old Republic, and these days you can usually find him splitting his entertainment time between retro gaming, the latest big action-adventure title, or a long haul in American Truck Simulator.