August 11, 2015 9:18 PM | Sean Flint
When it comes to city-building simulations, I know I'm not alone when I confess that I've lost countless hours to the library of games that happen to be of the genre. While it's great to plan and create your own massive, "realistic" cities, we never tend to see much deviation from the resources and buildings that are available in our actual lives. Block'hood takes the city-building genre and places a vertical twist on it, while also attempting to instill principles of economics and resource management along the way.
When I was first introduced to Block'hood, I was immediately drawn in by it's gorgeous aesthetic. The artwork, while simple, was just so colorful and diverse. In a time where we often seen dark, dreary colors used frequently, it's always a pleasure to have a game's screenshots pop out with varied and gorgeous colors. Already, I could see that building a city in Block'hood would be worth it just for the chance to create my own beautiful work of art, so to speak.
Block'hood is a game that rewards experimentation in terms of how and where you decide to place your blocks. With over 80 different building blocks to choose from, you'll find yourself quite busy as you attempt to uncover the best combinations which will in turn provide you with the most resources. Finding the correct combinations will allow you to unlock up to 50 unique inhabitants that only appear if you discover the block combination that they are associated with. Blocks such as farms require water and labor to operate, which are produced from water towers and homes, respectively.
With this resource management in mind, you can see that it will be extremely important to ensure that you are producing enough of each resource to sustain your community. Lack of resources will result in buildings shutting down, farms ceasing to operate, and lights being turned off all over your city. Ensuring that you are keeping up with your community's fast-growing needs is definitely challenging, but when night comes and you see your city light up, it's all worthwhile. During the day, being able to witness your beautiful foliage and farms in full color is a great incentive to ensure that you are continuously producing enough water and labor to keep them up and running.
There is no correct way to build a city in Block'hood. You are free to focus on industry and attempt to earn as much money as you can, or focus on education and running a clean and green society. This is what really makes the game shine, as it's fantastic to have the choice of how you'd like to build your city, and each method comes with its own risks and rewards that you must manage in order to keep everything running smoothly.
Block'hood has a variety of modes, such as research mode, which allows you to play the game with real-world values and use it in an educational manner, which can potentially have some great uses if it is done right. Also, there is challenge mode, which presents various difficult scenarios for you to complete, and resource management will be more important than ever. Finally, you have the classic sandbox mode, which gives you access to all of the blocks and allows you to build the futuristic utopia of your dreams from the ground up.
The ability to create and express yourself in games is something that I've always enjoyed, and as such I find Block'hood to be more than worthy of earning a spot on my radar, and definitely worth a look if you're even remotely interested in the genre. Adding a vertical element to the genre brings with it a whole new set of challenges, and really makes for the ability to create some gorgeous and awe-inspiring cities. I personally cannot wait to see what sort of fantastic creations players can come up with after the game releases.
Block'hood is currently seeking approval on Steam Greenlight, where you can find out all of the details and leave a vote and some feedback.
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