Base Building Games I've Played

Base Building games are categorized by a primary gameplay loop of building structures and being able to customize the layout of your home area. I've played 8 games in this genre so far.

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poster for Stacklands


Great little spin on survivalist. I liked the card stacking and the vibe. I also loved that there were quests, which gave direction to the game (too easy to wander, otherwise). It could have used some QoL and automation into the late game, but largely I had a great time with it. Would love to see more in this series/genre.

poster for The Riftbreaker

The Riftbreaker

There's a lot to like here- building is smooth, exploration is sort of interesting, and there's a good variety of weapons and buildings. I think they simplified the right things re: materials and power, and I liked the "build micro bases around the planet". I didn't love how resources kept running out, especially when you were elsewhere. But, the tower defense was pretty decent and lead to some good real-time action. Story was also ok, and _almost_ had some interesting introspection around the ethics of space colonization. Overall, does much more right than wrong, even if I had my quibbles.

poster for Forager


At its heart, it's an incremental game. Super cookie clicker. The exploration and slow expansion mechanic is neat. I like getting skills. There are some dungeons and puzzles, but they're a little too shallow for my taste. It also hurt the power fantasy, since everything was so simple that doing marginally more damage wasn't a compelling reason to continue. There's no logistical management like Factorio, which I think would have hooked me a little more. Tons to do though, there's definitely something for everyone. Nice art and music. Cool combination of things.

poster for

Does a really good job condensing the best parts of Factorio into their purest forms. Could use a fastforward button. Impressed at how many and how quickly it's getting updates. Straightforward gameplay that I definitely enjoyed.

poster for Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley

This is a pretty fun game. It's relaxing, methodical, well animated and a charming. The story is light, but there's a lot to do. I didn't realize I had this many hours in it, but that's part of the fun. It's interesting to look back and think about what the "fun" of it was. My favorite part was growing and organizing crops. Seeing what is available for harvest in the morning is great. The wiki was invaluable, it would be nice to have some of that info more readily available in game. At some point it's like busywork, but it's wholesome relaxing busywork and there's definitely worse ways to spend time. One challenge is to not worry too much about min-maxing. It's not hard to do, but once you've done it, that's about it for the game. Also there's no official way to "beat" the game, but I'm making a lot of money and I did all the story quests.

poster for ASTRONEER


Cute game. Great cartoon-y art style and flexible base building. It's cool how the whole UI is in-universe, but also that means some of it is pretty obtuse. It's tough to remember what buildings build each item. Exploration is neat and I liked the oxygen tethering mechianc. I think this would be better multiplayer (whereas factorio, at least there are tradeoffs). I didn't dig too deep in, but feel like I could some back to it with friends.

poster for Mewnbase


Cute, if simple, game. A little too shallow. Wish there was more to explore or more intersting tech choices. Could use a little more time to bake, I think.