Indie Games to Watch in 2020: City Builders and Management Games

In my last article, I highlighted some of the most promising strategy games coming out in 2020. Today, I’d like to focus on some popular spin-offs of the strategy genre, city builders and management games.

Whether you want to build a sprawling dwarf city deep under a mountain or an automotive empire, hopefully you’ll find a few games to scratch your itch for detailed stats screens and economy sliders.

Here’s a list of 17 city building and tycoon management sims coming out in 2020:

Builders of Egypt
Publisher: PlayWay S.A., CreativeForge Games
Developer: Strategy Labs
Platform: Windows PC

Formerly known as Hard Ancient Life, Builders of Egypt is a city builder set in the Nile Valley. The game will cover the time periods between the early protodynastic era to the death of Cleopatra. Builders of Egypt is heavily focused on economic strategy and urban planning, but players will also be able to dip into the politics, religious practices, and even warfare of the era.

Builders of Egypt doesn’t currently have a release date.


TFM: The First Men
Developer: Gathering Tree
Platforms: Windows PC, Linux, Mac

TFM: The First Men is a fantasy city builder with 4X elements where you guide the very first humans, starting with your very own customizable Adam and Eve. This smaller scale means that each individual villager is important, and have their own stats and desires that dictate the role they’ll play in your growing population.

TFM: The First Men doesn’t currently have a release date.


Hell Architect
Publisher: PlayWay S.A.
Developer: Woodland Games
Platforms: Windows PC, Mac

If guiding your own Adam and Eve isn’t your thing, how about condemning sinners to their eternal punishment? Hell Architect allows players to build and manage their own version of Hell, complete with a wide range of comedically devious torture devices.

Hell Architect is targeting a September release date.


Evil Genius 2: World Domination
Developer: Rebellion
Platform: Windows PC

Another tongue-in-cheek management game coming this year is Evil Genius 2: World Domination. As with the previous game, Evil Genius 2 is all about building your own secret lair as a cartoonish James Bond-style supervillain. Recruit and train minions to defend your lair and send on missions, and design doomsday weapons to bring world governments to their knees.

Evil Genius 2: World Domination doesn’t currently have a release date.


Spacebase Startopia
Publisher: Kalypso Media Digital
Developer: Realmforge Studios
Platforms: Windows PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Evil Genius isn’t the only quirky management sim to get a surprise sequel this year. Spacebase Startopia hopes to bring the colorful and humorous space station builder to a new generation of gamers, complete with its signature RTS-style skirmishes against hostile alien invaders.

Spacebase Startopia is targeting a Q3 2020 release date.


Publisher: Chucklefish
Developer: Ominux Games
Platforms: Windows PC, Linux, Mac

Another starbase management sim coming out soon is Starmancer. You play the role of a titular Starmancer, an advanced AI designed to oversee and assist human space colonies. Alternatively, you can embrace your sadistic side and run ethically questionable experiments on your colonists to see how far they can be pushed before they snap.

Starmancer doesn’t currently have a release date.


Publisher: Modern Wolf 
Developer: Blue Bottle Games
Platform: Windows PC

Rounding out our trio of space management sims is Ostranauts, the next game from the developers of NEO Scavenger. Set in the same universe as their previous game, Ostranauts places you in control of a spaceship in a distant system that has been cut off from Earth following the apocalyptic events of NEO Scavenger. Ensure your crew and ship can survive in a cruel star system where anarchy reigns.

Ostranauts is targeting an early 2020 release date.


Endzone – A World Apart
Publisher: Assemble Entertainment
Developer: Gentlymad Studios
Platform: Windows PC

Speaking of apocalyptic scenarios, Endzone – A World Apart is a survival city builder that tasks you with restarting civilization after a nuclear war. Build ramshackle towns and send survivors to scavenge for resources and pre-apocalypse technology, all while combating the dangers of this hostile new world.

Endzone – A World Apart is targeting a Spring 2020 release date.


Stronghold: Warlords
Developer: Firefly Studios
Platforms: Windows PC

The Stronghold franchise is set to return sometime this year with Stronghold: Warlords. This new game in the castle building franchise is heading to the Far East, and will allow players to construct (and lay siege to) fortresses in Japan and China. The game will also be introducing a new Warlords mechanic, which allows you to recruit upgradable AI commanders that you can assign to different tasks to boost their efficiency.

Stronghold: Warlords doesn’t currently have a release date.


Port Royale 4
Publisher: Kalypso Media Digital
Developer: Gaming Minds
Platforms: Windows PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One 

Port Royale is yet another classic management franchise getting a new sequel after a lengthy hiatus. In Port Royale 4, players will be tasked with establishing a massive trade empire in the Caribbean for one of the major colonial powers. The game will also add turn-based fleet combat, a first for the franchise.

Port Royale 4 is targeting a Q3 2020 release date.


Car Manufacture
Publisher: PlayWay S.A.
Developer: Pixel Flipper S.A.
Platform: Windows PC

Car Manufacture is a tycoon game set in the beginning of the 20th century, and focuses on the rise of the automobile industry. Design efficient production lines, research new technologies, and expand your business to satisfy demand for this new form of transportation.

Car Manufacture doesn’t currently have a release date.


Industries of Titan
Developer: Brace Yourself Games
Platform: Windows PC

Industries of Titan is a city building sim set on Saturn’s moon Titan. The moon has been divided up by rival corporations, each of which controls a massive industrial city focused solely on maximizing profits. Build your infrastructure and economy while fending off attacks and sabotage efforts from rival companies.

Industries of Titan doesn’t currently have a release date.


Dream Engines: Nomad Cities
Developer: Suncrash
Platform: Windows PC

Dream Engines: Nomad Cities is a blend of city builder and tower defense set in a post-apocalyptic nightmare world. Build flying cities using forgotten technology, travel across the world in search of new resources, and fend off invasions from the strange monsters that lurk in the dark.

Dream Engines: Nomad Cities doesn’t currently have a release date.


Distant Kingdoms
Publisher: Kasedo Games
Developer: Orthrus Studios
Platform: Windows PC

Distant Kingdoms is a fantasy city building game with some RPG elements. Build thriving cities where humans, dwarves, elves, and orcs live together in relative harmony, all while trying to cater to their unique needs and desires. Send parties of adventurers out into the wilderness to deal with monsters and other dangers to your city.

Distant Kingdoms doesn’t currently have a release date.


Developer: Pineleaf Studio
Platforms: Windows PC, Mac

If you prefer your fantasy city builders to focus on dwarves, then maybe you’ll like DwarfHeim. The game tasks players with building intricate dwarven cities, and then defending them from monsters and other raiders. The game can be played alone, but there is a large focus on co-op with up to four players.

DwarfHeim doesn’t currently have a release date.


Publisher: Team17 Digital
Developer: Warpzone Studios
Platform: Windows PC

If your burning desire to build dwarven cities can’t be quenched, then Hammerting might be another game to keep an eye out for. Manage a mining colony in the depths of the mountains of Mara, and turn your raw resources into arms and armor to supply to your allies in a devastating war against the forces of evil.

Hammerting doesn’t currently have a release date.


Hundred Days – Winemaking Simulator
Developer: Broken Arms Games
Platforms: Windows PC, Mac, Nintendo Switch

Finally, we come to Hundred Days – Winemaking Simulator, a relaxing business sim about running your own winery. Manage every aspect of the winemaking process, from harvesting your crop in the vineyard, to shipping your finished product off to market.

Hundred Days – Winemaking Simulator doesn’t currently have a release date.

That’s all for our article about some of the most interesting city building and management games coming out in 2020. Next time, we’ll take a look at some of the open-ended sandbox and sim games coming out this year.

Until then, which games on this list caught your attention? Which other games are you excited about this year? Tell us more in the comments below!

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Frank was a former Niche Gamer contributor.

Where'd our comments go? Subscribe to become a member to get commenting access and true free speech!