Early Access preview code used with many thanks to Remoob.
Released on Early Access by Turkish developers Remoob Games, Pile Up! is a strategy game about placing buildings on top of each other.
Pile Up! is a pretty chill turn-based building game; you must place and manage unique buildings on a small island and look after the needs of the citizens.
Stack Them Up
At the beginning of the game, you can play on the first map, Rectland. Once your score increases enough, you unlock the second map Farlander Mt. Currently, the game only has two maps, but I would expect that to increase as the game moves through early access.
The map gives you a small patch of land to build on, a platform on an island in the sea. In addition, you are dealt a random set of buildings during each turn to place. Initially, you are given small single-tiled dwellings to place. But soon, the size of the building increases to large apartment blocks that stack several storeys high. There are also unique buildings, such as factories which you receive once the population increases and you reach the milestone.
Furthermore, each building you place provides a different population amount. Icons appear above the buildings showing the required resources to keep the citizens inside happy. Your ultimate goal is building as large a population as possible while maintaining a decent overall happiness rating for the people inside their homes.
However, you can’t place buildings without thought; you must plan ahead. Your building placement must be precise as soon you’ll add Water Towers and power sources such as Electric generators, which bring their own needs and dangers to the gameplay.
Water towers leak and destroy the buildings underneath them. This means you must place them on the ground level of your town or on top of a support platform. Placing electricity generators beside a gas building can trigger explosions which also demolish buildings situated below and beside them, taking a large portion of your citizens out with it and making the remaining citizens unhappy.
The gameplay loop of Pile Up! flows nicely. It’s a constant loop of placing the vertical buildings on the island, then earning points and using those points to unlock new buildings for greater building possibilities. It is a simple premise, but don’t be fooled, as the game offers players a challenge.
Not only are you limited on space on the platform to build, but you must place every building you have each turn unless you have a special building card that lets you skip a turn. So there are some strategies involved to keep your citizens happy.
Buildings Automatically Connect Together
Pile Up! is set in a 3D world with a lovely calm ambient soundtrack to listen to while you play. The game’s visuals are cute, and there are suitable animations of the buildings automatically connecting together once you place them. There is a day and night cycle, and I like seeing all the little houses lit up at night.
Also, when you place a building, the game visually confirms if the building will sit where you want to place it, by showing an outline and grid before you place the building. The camera has a handy top-down view button, and you can move the camera around your creation.
Sandbox mode is included in PileUp! You can try your hand at playing the game with all the buildings unlocked. I like Pile Up; even in its Early Access release, when it lacks a lot of content, there is a solid base for a great game to appear once it comes out of EA. For puzzle fans, Pile Up! is a game to keep an eye on as it moves through EA. You can find the Pile Up! Steam page here.