City building games provide a fascinating opportunity to develop a city or town just how you want it. In the process, you’ll plan for infrastructure, adequate housing, and tourism, among other aspects of city life. In this ranking of the best city building games for Android, we touch on a wide range of options, from modern city building experiences to familiar landmark and historical settlements. One game even takes place in Springfield, home to TV’s The Simpsons. If you’re after the new game genre addiction, you may just have found it.
15 Best City Building Games for Android
Put on a hard hat, because the 15 best city building games for Android are coming up next.
Snow Town — Ice Village World: Winter City
- Tap vehicles to earn diamonds
- Harder to play once upper levels are reached
You’re the city manager in Snow Town, the first city building app for Android we reviewed. Your job is to build your village from the ground up — including commercial spaces, roads, and other infrastructure. As city manager, you’re tasked with providing basic city services to keep the citizens satisfied.
With more than 100 different types of buildings to choose from — including fire and police stations, roads, bridges, and highways — Snow Town is free to play and it keeps most players engrossed for hours.
The most challenging aspect is that it’s always winter, so watch out for those slippery sidewalks and travelways. The more roads you build, the more diamonds you earn. Fans wish there was cloud backup, though. With fantastic graphics, it’s an otherwise addictive and family-friendly experience.
Designer City 2
- Only one city at a time
- Runs smoothly on both phone and tablet
Next pick in our list is Designer City 2. It isn’t cities, roads, or other amenities that make a town, necessarily — it’s people. And how do you attract people? With nice places to live, lots of parks, and a vibrant nightlife. For a functional city, you’ll also need public transportation, industrial infrastructure, and more.
The game is free to play, but added goodies are to be had by spending just a little bit of extra money. You can also earn the income you need for construction and other aspects of your town with daily prize spins, or from your gold mine.
For a casual game playing experience, Designer City 2 is a great choice — leave it alone and check back in occasionally to see how your wealth and your city have grown. New features and buildings are constantly added.
Tropic Paradise Sim: Town Building Game
- Pop-up ads a little excessive
- Entertaining and fun to play
Tropic Paradise Sim: Town Building Game lets you experience what it might be like to have your own island paradise. From a big city to a vacation resort or just a small village, what you build is up to you. Once people are attracted to what you’ve constructed, it’s important to reward them. And in doing so, the game itself rewards you.
You’ll begin with a good amount of cash and gold, and payouts are steady from there. Earn even more money to spend on construction by watching ads.
As far as holding your interest over time, the game gets mixed reviews. Otherwise, most get addicted, commenting on the peaceful music and good graphics. There are also many different areas to explore. Some wish you could spend your own cash rather than wait to earn gold. There are also some crashing issues reported.
Rise of the Roman Empire
- Everyone 10+
- No rewards for playing daily
- Not historically accurate
In Rise of the Roman Empire, you’ll play an emperor put in charge of a settlement. The glory of Rome is fading fast, and it’s your job to return the town to its former glory. Fortify it against raids from pirates and barbarians, among other challenges.
At your disposal are two trusted leaders, Ovid and Asteria, each one with unique skills to offer — which one you trust to oversee the imperial outpost is up to you. Otherwise, keeping your citizens safe and fed, conquering new territory, and managing the flow of goods and services are what this game is all about.
We particularly like that the global map can be shared with other players. The app is quite large, but the ads are tastefully managed. There’s also not much tutorial to help you get started. Overall, though, it’s a well-done game with beautiful graphics — “a mobile game masterpiece,” one fan said.
Paradise City: Building Sim Game
- Bonuses earned by watching ads
- Nice graphics
Another tropical island-themed city building game, Paradise City: Building Sim Game, is up next in our list. The end result will be a bustling city, but you begin with nothing more than empty farmland. From there, you’ll establish a small settlement, add homes and dwellings, commercial spaces, and a resort to attract visitors and boost the local economy.
This free city building game can be played both on and offline. To be successful requires a careful balance of assets, jobs, and of course, population. Growth, paid for through gold, only happens when and how you can afford it.
Pop-up ads do tend to disrupt play, based on feedback. But otherwise, Paradise City is addictive and fun. Placing roads, pedestrian walking paths, and waterways is an especially popular part of the game. Some side quests might be nice, though, just to keep things interesting.
Global City: Build and Harvest
- Can be played without spending much money
- Confusing airport module
For the highest-quality graphics in our list, look no further perhaps than Global City: Build and Harvest. Just like in real-life, resources drive your development forward. Establish mines and infrastructure, bring your commodities to market, and watch your town grow. Whatever your growing city can do without can be shipped off to other locations.
Among other strengths, the game offers a chat component with other players from all over the world. For a change of pace, there are also side quests. A strong tax base will help your city, grow the population, expand the city boundaries, and boost industry.
Overall, this is a nice city sim game, but upgrades do come a bit slowly for some players. Errors also crop up consistently. That being said, it’s an addictive experience with nice graphics, according to feedback — the best city-building game available, based on one report.
Village Island City Simulation
- No off-line progression
- Great time filler
Like a throwback to the early days of village building sims, Village Island City Simulation lets you build your perfect island paradise, just how you like it. The more employment you provide residents in your idyllic seaside town, the more revenue you’ll earn to expand your city even further. There are more than 100 types of structures to choose from, like hotels and movie theaters.
Successful island villages will balance work and entertainment options with economic interests and industry. Construction is paid for in both gold, earned in-game, or cash players spend on their own.
The more XP earned, the more types of buildings are unlocked, keeping things interesting, The graphics are otherwise high quality, and gameplay is overall easy to catch on to. The game does get a bit repetitive over time, we found out, and some of the formatting for mobile could be improved.
- Some bug issues reported
- Play offline, no pay to win
Offering the opportunity to turn your village into a full-scale urban environment, TheoTown is the next app in our ranking. Setting this game apart is the freedom to manage more than one town at once. This time, public health emergencies and natural disasters are thrown in the mix.
Otherwise, you’re responsible for both public and private land. Transportation must be accounted for, as well as residential and commercial space. Developed cities are patterned after real-life destinations like London and Paris, and in turn, landmarks like the Eiffel tower can be added.
We like that no internet connection is needed to play and the abundance of plugins available from the in-game plugin store. It’s also possible to network your city through infrastructure. Otherwise, fans especially like the retro 16-bit art style, and the game is overall straightforward to play. The music is also nice and relaxing, but the instructions could be better.
City Island 5 — Building Sim
- Freezing issues reported
- Improvements made in recent updates
Build up a town just the way you like it, and move on to the next — that’s the concept behind the next city building game for Android we reviewed, City Island 5 — Building Sim. Once your first island is just how you like it, send airships out to explore.
Each island is uniquely themed. Settle on a spot (or several spots) of your own, and build your town. You’ll also engage in quests to uncover treasure troves. City Island 5 can be played with friends, both online and offline. Each island, building, and town has a style all its own.
The longer you play, the more you’ll be rewarded and the more complex your city will be. The game does get interrupted a lot with pop-up ads, we learned. But overall, the graphics are great, and the prizes awarded for building your city do make it all worthwhile.
- Everyone 10+
- Great weather effects
- Cool quests
Townsmen is a medieval-themed city building game for Android. It’s overall much the same as any city building game, with structures, roads, and other aspects of your settlements. This time, though, castles, jousting fields, and other period-specific aspects are in the mix.
Don’t forget to fortify your town against raiders and bandits with guard towers, barracks, and other military-style enhancements. In this less-complex civilization, weather (as well as seasons and drought) are more directly linked to the success or failure of what you build.
The economic simulation is complex and realistic and there are always tasks to engage in to earn rewards and to keep things interesting. The game does get bogged down a bit by certain elements of gameplay, but few bugs are reported, based on feedback. The game is overall fun and even somewhat educational. Some found it reminiscent of the classic board game, Age of Discovery.
Little Big City 2
- Touch input issues reported
- Designed to play without purchasing
The second installment in the Little Big City series, Little Big City 2 leads off the top five in our list. We like the different styles of development players pursue, from heavy industry to tech sector emphasis. Or instead, build your city into a center for arts and culture. Otherwise, you’ll work closely with your town’s mayor and their city government colleagues.
There’s also the freedom to visit your friend’s city and check in on their progress. There’s a good number of landmarks and buildings to unlock and add. Get your updates on in-game current events with frequent news updates.
Similar to Sim City, this fun and addictive game is full of things to do. There are many different types of buildings and forms of infrastructure to add to your town as it grows. Some bugs do show up as the population grows, though.
The Simpsons: Tapped Out
- Some server connectivity issues
- Leave it for awhile — your city will save
Full of all your favorite characters from the long-running hit series, The Simpsons: Tapped Out takes place in a Springfield that Homer destroyed in a nuclear reactor mishap. From there, the game is all about rebuilding the iconic town just how you like it. There’s a waterfront to renovate, high-end shopping areas to design and update, and a number of other building types to include.
Nothing ever goes as planned in The Simpsons, nor will things go smoothly in the game. We like the cut scenes adding elements of classic Simpsons storylines. Look out, ‘cause Maggie might just go missing.
Otherwise, the game is lots of fun and there’s no need to spend. You earn the donuts to rebuild Springfield by competing in events like the sideshow balloon game, recycling, or just cleaning up debris. You can also add friends and visit their versions of Springfield — in short, great graphics, great storyline, and funny characters, just like you’d expect.
Megapolis: City Building Sim
- New interface receives mixed reviews
- Mini games and contests keep things interesting
Among the most realistic city building games for Android is Megapolis: City Building Sim. Following real-life, market-driven economic forces, you’ll grow your small town into the biggest city it can be — possibly one of the biggest cities on the planet. All aspects of city life must be accounted for, such as infrastructure, industry, housing, and even the military.
There’s a feature in Megapolis to add a research center, making your town a leader in science and industry. You can also enter government-funded contests for extra funds, rewards, and bonuses. Among the buildings available to add are well-known landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, among others.
Recent updates have turned some players off from Megapolis, but in general, it remains a great and enjoyable game with plenty to do, based on feedback. Earning “megabucks” could be easier, we found out. But the overall consensus puts Megapolis among the best city building games for mobile. After our own careful research, we agree.
Rise of Kingdoms: Lost Crusade
- Everyone 10+
- Instructions could be improved
- History lessons while playing
City building put in historical context, Rise of Kingdoms: Lost Crusade earned second place in our ranking. In the game, players can choose the ancient Chinese or ancient Roman civilizations, among a dozen other options. Regardless of which old-world civilization you choose, raiders like Vikings or barbarians have landed or are approaching and you must defend your settlement.
The map is expansive, covering all aspects of gameplay — from exploration to real-time battles. Actual figures from history are also available, such as Julius Caesar.
Also popular for those who love the game is the freedom to explore ancient temples and cave networks. Otherwise, the app is excellent, offering alliance building, which ranks among the most popular aspects. The graphics and battle dynamics are detailed and it’s overall easy to play. The renderings of ancient cities and civilizations are especially beautiful, based on feedback.
- Everyone 10+
- Realistic supply chain
- Mayor’s Pass worth the purchase
And finally, we unveil SimCity Buildit in the top spot on our list of best city building games for Android. In the game, you’ll develop your city from the smallest of towns to the largest and most bustling metropolis. Pattern your city after real-life destinations like London and New York. Don’t forget to account for infrastructure like bridges, power plants, and public safety.
Unlike other apps we reviewed, there are fantasy elements like monsters, and plenty of natural disasters to watch out for. Maybe your real fear is just competing mayors going on the offensive! Through gameplay, you can also unlock real world landmarks like the Statue of Liberty, among others.
And finally, once your bustling metropolis grows to a certain size, you can network with other mayors to share secrets and join forces in the defense of your citizens. The app overall captures the charm of SimCity games on other platforms, and that helped us feel confident putting SimCity Buildit in the first spot on our ranking.
Join the High Ground
That’s it for our list of the best city building games for Android in 2022! Drop your favorites in the comments, or let us know other mobile game genres you’d like to see us rank in the future. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for more content like this!