For architects, finding inspiration in a game - whether physical or video - can be a real motivator to experiment with new possibilities and to unleash their creative imagination while enjoying the fun that comes with it! What if you can design as many houses as you would like to with no restrictions or, even better, build an entire city to your liking? Here are 10 architecture games to stir your creative juices like never before!
1- Lego by the Lego Group
Legos are not just for children anymore. Actually, these small building blocks are an interesting option for those who love to build things from scratch. And who's better at this than architects? The potential to build endless shapes and structures, and the creativity it takes to do that, make this game a must-have for every architect.
2- SimCity by EA Maxis
One of the best-selling video games of all times will easily make anyone fall in love with architecture. The life-simulation video game enables you to design your own home or city down to the finest details offering a complete virtual world to experiment with your own design concepts.
3- Cities in Motion by Colossal Order
A game by Colossal Order that will challenge urban planners to build and enhance the public transportation systems. This game takes place in major European cities like Amsterdam, Berlin, Helsinki, and Vienna. However, the best thing about it is the variety of systems you can toy with ranging from trains to helicopters.
4- Project Highrise: Architect's Edition
Claim the opportunity to build virtual world-famous skyscrapers and to manage all aspects of the building process as well as the people involved. Aside from practicing your architectural talents, you'll be able to deal with the managerial issues necessary to keep the intricate ecosystem of your making running smoothly.
5- Block'hood by Plethora Project
This ecological city simulator challenges players to create a functioning community out of 1x1x1 blocks of various programs. The real challenge in this game lies not with how skillfully and beautifully you are capable of organizing your blocks (Lego-like concept) but with how efficiently you can manage your building under different environmental conditions.
In Block'hood, you can build anything you want as long as you maintain an ecological balance between the things you create. -Game developer Jose Sanchez.
6- Design Home by Glu Mobile
A great way for avid interior designers to live their passion in a virtual world of home decoration, real-life furniture, and challenging design competitions. This game will offer you all kinds of rooms to design and furnish. You can also submit your designs to competitions for others to rate while you, in turn, can rate others' designs.
7- Cities: Skylines by Colossal Order
Although similar to other life-simulation architecture games in concept, Cities: Skylines takes virtual city building to a whole different level. With very advanced features and complex issues a player has to deal with, Cities: Skylines is one of the few games that have inspired the implementation of real-world projects. One of them is a transportation system in Stockholm that was planned using this game.
Since the release of Cities: Skylines, we've seen our creative players use it to design thousands of different things, from clever road layouts and traffic simulations to recreations of entire real-world cities. -Susan Meza, COO of game Paradox Interactive (game publisher).
8- Mirror's Edge Catalyst by Electronic Arts
An exciting journey to complete missions, taking place in the Glass City: a near-future metropolis divided into multiple districts. While in this game, you won't build anything, the intensity of details and the splendid urban shapes and forms will greatly add to your inspiration as you traverse through the gleaming white city.
9- Project Aura by Pixel Quality Games
The effects of global warming are no longer manageable and life on earth has almost gone extinct. Now, it's your duty to save what's left of humanity after the land surface has been completely submerged in water.
What you need to do is build colonies on the water surface. But not so simple, those colonies should be protected by giant domes to protect them from the extremely harmful atmosphere. Sounds challenging? Who knows, it might turn into a real architectural demand sometime in the future, so you better be prepared. ;)
10- Anno 2205 by Blue Byte Mainz
An award-winning city-building franchise where you can join humankind's next step into the future. What makes this game so special is that it isn't just about building beautiful homes or cities. In this game, you'll be on a mission to conquer planet Earth, building vital metropolises and industrial complexes for a better tomorrow. However, to achieve that, you'll have to colonize the moon for resources!
This game is probably one of the most advanced building simulation games for architects who are trying to learn the ropes of futuristic design and landscaping.
Now tell us, how important do you think learning by simulation is for enhancing architects' creativity and strategy building? Are you an architect who has tried any of these games before? Drop your recommendations down in the comments!
It's not just architecture games that can stimulate your creativity, sometimes contests can do that too! Want to see for yourself? Try our design contests!