This alt-history 'city builder grand strategy hybrid' has my full attention

An industrial city in the distance
(Image credit: Overseer Games)

Just the words "city builder" are enough to get my attention. Tack on "grand strategy"—as in you not only build a city but clash with a larger world using military and economic strategies—and I'm even more interested. Throw in an alt-history World War 1 and World War 2 setting, and yes. Yes, I am definitely sitting up and taking notice.

It's Kaiserpunk throwing all these pleasing genre terms at me, in a game "that blends building, strategy, logistics, causality, and production." Take a look at the reveal teaser and tell me you're not as intrigued as I am:

In Kaiserpunk, "players will plan and manage everything for their cities, from layout to citizen morale to organizing supply chains and everything in between," says Overseer Games, developer of survival city builder Patron. "Not only will players have to strategize the layouts of their cities, but they’ll also have to keep a keen eye on the worldview. With over 100 regions, players in Kaiserpunk will need to manage their relations with others utilizing diplomacy and trade or, if they so choose, brute force."

I'm not much of a strategy guru, but I do love the idea of zooming out of my city and seeing how it fits into a much larger outside world, especially one in the throes of war. It adds a whole extra layer of stakes if the production chains you set up in your city have an effect on how you deal with the world. You'll need to build up your war machine too, as you progress your technology "from simple zeppelins to mighty bombers."

If tanks and planes aren't your thing, there are other ways to win a war, like using "your economic power to subdue your rivals and emerge as the ultimate victor." Alliances and trade deals with other regions can help turn the tide in your favor, too. 

It all looks and sounds pretty cool to me. Kaiserpunk is scheduled for 2024. 

Christopher Livingston
Staff Writer

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.