cj_gif1.gifMegaCity, originally released in 2011 and given an HD remake last year, was a city builder which took micromanagement out of the equation in favor of focusing on planning layouts. Now it's getting a sequel for Windows and Mac with graphics inspired by classic 90s city building games and the addition of deck building mechanics that add a lot of depth to the game.

Concrete Jungle plays very much like its predecessor. As in MegaCity, the goal is to clear the left-most column of the grid by scoring a target number of population points in that column. Population points are obtained by placing a combination of shopping, industrial, community, and recreational buildings to build up the point values of tiles and placing residential buildings on those higher-point tiles. Some buildings lower the point values of nearby tiles, though, which makes strategic placement necessary to be able to continue the game as clearing columns gradually becomes more difficult. Clearing columns is the only way to open up more space to place new buildings.

New to the series, however, is its deck building aspects. Every building is represented by a card in the queue, and every card has two point values in the upper right-hand corner. The blue value is economy points; the more of those amassed, the more cards the player can add to their deck when a deck building phase hits. The red value is an advancement cost. Accruing advancement costs is what causes the point value needed to clear columns to go up. Every so often, a deck building phase occurs. For every card buy earned via economy points, the player is allowed to draft a card into their deck. The cards that can be added to the deck have a much wider range of capabilities than the starting cards, and as with any good deck building game, synergy is necessary for success.

Players familiar with the first game will be very comfortable with how Concrete Jungle plays, though I don't mean to say that newcomers will be lost. The strategy involved in building placement is very similar, especially early in the game before the deck building aspect heats up and a large variety of new buildings become available.

Even in its current prototypical state, Concrete Jungle is hard to put down. Fans of MegaCity should definitely look forward to it. For anyone else, MegaCity HD is available on a variety of platforms including free on Kongregate and can serve as a taste of what to expect from Concrete Jungle.

Concrete Jungle itself is headed to Windows and Mac computers with an anticipated release date of May 2015. A Kickstarter for Concrete Jungle went live a few days ago and has already made its £3,000 funding goal. Developer ColePowered Games is also running a Greenlight campaign.

[ColePowered Games]