Extraterrestrial city-builder Synergy is all about hope and harmony on a new planet

Managerial types take note: you're being called up to take your civics and survival skills to another planet. City-building survival game Synergy takes you out to the desolate but beautiful wasteland of a hostile planet after an apocalyptic event on earth. Things out on humanity's new home base aren't so welcoming either, between severe weather across seasons and the inhospitable atmosphere. You'll need to explore the planet to better understand it while designing a more humane habitat for humanity itself.

Synergy's developers revealed Synergy during the PC Gaming Show with a new trailer showing off its lovely art style and its challenging but hopeful atmosphere.

Like many city-builders, Synergy is all about building resources, expanding, and finding a balance that lets your population thrive. Out on this new planet economic growth isn't the name of the game: your citizens' health and happiness are the true measure of success.

To keep your people healthy, you'll need to make sure they have access to food, clean water, and clean air. Direct sun and shade are also a concern in the planet's minimal atmosphere. There's a tech tree of course, giving access to new structures, food recipes, and survival technology. Expeditions will allow you to send citizens out beyond the city in search of discoveries. Mysterious tablets, conveying the secrets of the planet, are a high prize to return home with.

(Image credit: Leikir Studio)

One of your key success factors is Hope, a resource you'll recoup by honoring social pacts like ensuring water sustainability, distributing education, or returning from expeditions with those all important tablets.

The design of the city itself is important too. "Our current cities have developed around cars, and this mode of travel has led to noise, pollution and stress," developer Leikir Studio says. "In Synergy, there is no question of repeating these mistakes. The player has to think about how to build a city by removing the car paradigm, he has to think about people, their well-being but also their environment."

Key to happiness, Leikir Studio says, is allowing humanity to survive while respecting nature on their new home world. You'll need to consider proper distribution of living spaces, pedestrian zones, meeting spaces, verticality, and the balance between resource production and personal lives. Happiness is key but waste is deadly.

You can see a bit of that at work in Synergy's reveal trailer as a small city grows from a central residential area surrounding a space for local flora.

For my money, you can't miss with Synergy's art style. If Moebius-inspired pastels and comic-like linework is the new trend in gaming, I'm fully onboard. You can find and wishlist Synergy on Steam to find out more.

Lauren Morton
Associate Editor

Lauren started writing for PC Gamer as a freelancer in 2017 while chasing the Dark Souls fashion police and accepted her role as Associate Editor in 2021, now serving as the self-appointed chief cozy games enjoyer. She originally started her career in game development and is still fascinated by how games tick in the modding and speedrunning scenes. She likes long books, longer RPGs, has strong feelings about farmlife sims, and can't stop playing co-op crafting games.