Silicon city images shows the games title

Silicon City Review

Game: Silicon City
Genre: Simulation, Strategy
System: Steam (Windows, macOS & Linux)
Developers | Publishers: Polycorne
Controller Support: No
Price: US $19.99 | UK £15.49 | EU 19,99
Release Date: October 14th, 2021

Review code used, with many thanks to Sparks Forge.

Released on Early Access in 2021, Silicon City is a retro city-building game ready to release fully into the wild.

City-building games are one of my favourite genres, and I’ve been busy building and putting the game through its paces while the developers have been updating it for its full release.

Build a City

opening screen shows a meassge to the mayor
Welcome Mayor

As with any city-building game, the goal is to build as large a city as possible and keep your citizens happy. The game offers two modes of play, classic and sandbox; it also has a five-level tutorial, where I started the game.

The tutorial is helpful, although some aspects of city building are missing and not explained in the tutorial. Since this isn’t the first city-building game I’ve played, the tutorial was okay for me; however, for first-time players, it should contain all the information about building and taking care of a city in the tutorial.

The sandbox mode has a few different maps to play on, from small, medium, to large, and you can choose your difficulty setting from very easy right up to very hard difficulty, so there is plenty of choices.

Be a Good Mayor

Images shows the setting for playing a game in sandbox mode
Choose your setting for a sandbox game.

Like any city-building game where you are the mayor, there is a lot to keep you busy. You’ll start by placing roads and supplying electricity so your Silizens (citizens) can live comfortably in their new abode.

You’ll supply local parks to increase land value, increase housing, and entice new Silizens to your city. Additionally, you’ll build farms and shops so the Silizens have somewhere to work and earn a living.

The game gives you quests to complete, such as building a set amount of housing or a library and police station. Other quests require you to increase the population of the city. Silizens are unique and independent; you can check how they are doing through detailed info panels. The citizens will also inform you when they are unhappy with the city’s development.

Use Barkr Social Network

image shows the ingame social network
Barkr. social network

Integrated into the game is a social network, Barkr. It works similarly to Chirper in Cities: Skylines and keeps you updated with how your Silizens are doing; you can also use it to send out messages to the Silizens.

Elections play a part in Silicon City; your opponent in the mayoral elections is a randomly generated NPC. One drawback to elections, I found, is that it’s automatically game over if you do not win.

When that happens, you have to start a new save file and abandon your original city. as you can’t continue to build that city you have invested time into. I’m still divided on whether I like that mechanic; I certainly don’t like losing a city I’ve built. It might be better implemented if you could play that city you lost in sandbox mode, but unfortunately, you lose it completely.

Twitch Integrated

An image of a city at night.
City at night

Unlike similar city-building games, the mayoral elections and the final result puts a different spin on the city-building genre, making Silicon City more of an arcade feel to city construction,

In addition to all the standard city-building mechanics, Twitch is integrated into the game, letting viewers become citizens in your city. Since I don’t use Twitch, I can’t comment on how that works.


Images shows info screen for the city
use info panels to keep track of your finance

Visually Silicon City has a retro look; it strongly reminds me of Sim City 2000 though the graphics are much improved in Silicon City. The Silizens are represented as black upright blocks; while that design choice gets the job done, I’d much prefer to see Silizens look more life-like, as it would help the player feel more involved in what happens to them.

Come nighttime, the game will automatically progress through those hours quickly; that’s a nice feature and speeds the hours up when your Silizens are sleeping.

Some Issues

Images shows info screens over lapping
Info screens overlap, which means you can’t read them

I noticed some framerate issues, significantly when the city grew in size. There was an apparent slowdown when I moved the map around. Even adjusting the settings didn’t make any difference, and my laptop is pretty powerful and can run games like Cities: Skylines and all the DLCs without any issues.

Unfortunately, I also encountered a few problems reading some of the info screens when I used the info panel and overlays of zones and such. The UI isn’t the most intuitive, and the info panel overlaps when you click on the top left icon on the UI; this means you can’t read them properly, as you can only see half the information.

The city is growing


Silicon City does offer a challenge in building a city, but the framerate issues can be off-putting. Once the framerate issues are ironed out and a more intuitive UI implemented, I would not hesitate to give Silicon City an “I like it a lot” score, but until then, it will have to be an I like it score.

Final Verdict: I Like it  I like it


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