Townscaper: City builder coming for Quest 2 and Pico devices
The Townscaper city builder is known for its simple mechanics and relaxing effect, making it well suited for virtual reality.
Townscaper is a project by solo developer Oskar Stålberg. The city builder focuses on the creative aspect of city building and does without planning, administration or concrete game objectives. For this reason, Stålberg himself classifies Townscaper more as a toy than a game.
As a Townscaper you place colored blocks in an infinite ocean. An algorithm transforms these blocks into cute little houses, arches, stairs, bridges, and backyards, according to certain rules, depending on the configuration of the existing elements. The underlying grid is distorted, creating a more organic city structure.
Townscaper: Perfect for the VR niche?
Townscaper enjoys great popularity, despite its simple mechanics. On Steam, the city builder has almost 16,000 positive reviews. Townscaper is also available for Nintendo Switch, iOS and Android, Xbox consoles, and browsers. The cover image is from the PC version.
A VR port for Meta Quest 1 and 2 and Pico headsets will follow on October 6, 2022, hopefully with equally visceral controls and the ability to view towns from different angles and zoom in and out with slight hand movements.
Adjustable scale would make the island cities stand out even better in virtual reality than in the on-screen version. A first trailer only shows the insertion of blocks.
City Builder: A rare VR species
City-building simulations are an underrepresented genre in VR, especially on standalone platforms. For Meta Quest 2, there is the beautifully designed Little Cities (review) as well as Cities: VR (review), a VR spin-off of Cities: Skylines that offers more complexity but compromises on graphics and user interface. Spacefolk City, on the other hand, is a cuteness-driven city builder that focuses on creativity and is also well suited for children.