Recommend some Sim or economic/city management games

I have a hankering for a city management or economic empire building game. There’s nothing better on a boring sunday afternoon that curling up with a fresh game of this genre and by the end of the afternoon having a thriving business/city/theme park/what have you. I’m not against armies/combat, as long as the main focus is on the economic side.

I’ve played most of the classics and had a blast, but once you figure out the ‘formula to win’ going on behind the scenes the games lose most of their replayability.

There are probably dozens that are great. Off the top of my head here’s the ones I’ve gotten a kick out of recently:

SimCity (and all iterations)
Zoo Tycoon
Tropico 3
Knights and Merchants
Evil Genius
Lemonaid Tycoon
Prison Tycoon
Railroad Tycoon
Sim Tower
Roller Coaster Tycoon 3
John Deere American Farmer
SimEarth
Restaurant Empire
Dwarf Fortress (if I could figure out how to play)

So what is missing from this list? What is your favorite ‘building’ game? What the heck is the name of this genre?

Have you tried the Settlers series? Or, even though they’re old, Caesar and its spinoffs.

Civilisation 2 used to be regarded as the greatest strategy game of all time. Could still be, I lost interest in pc games a few years ago.

Rollercoaster tycoon 2

dont bother with 3 imho

What set 2 apart from 3? I liked 3, but it felt like I had to micromanage minor things like the price of hot dogs and how much ketchup to put on, yet it did not provide the tools to do this in an easy fashion. Did RCT2 avoid this problem?

Children of the Nile is a very playable city builder. No shooter-type combat; you just produce equipment for soldiers and tell them to go off to war.

There’s a new expansion forTropico 3: Absolute Power I’m playing now; pretty good, with a couple of very tough scenarios I haven’t been able to finish.

Looking over your list I can think of some older titles that seem like omissions, mainly the Impressions series of builders (I just call 'em “builders”). If I recall, the series was Caesar, Pharaoh, Zeus, and one set in China I haven’t tracked down. Children of the Nile, already mentioned, is something of a successor as I believe some of the Impressions people are now with Tilted Mill.

I, too, enjoyed Railroad Tycoon. I have been frustrated by my inability to procure the sequels. I have Sid Meier’s Railroads but would like to play 2 & 3. I would love to find a good game like the original RT-- I find a lot of train simulations but not what I’m after.

The Movies had a fair bit of economics, building placement, and management but I don’t feel that it was a full game. I still see it knocking around game shops occasionally.

Evil Genius I haven’t played but I’ve read (often uncomplimentary) comparisons to Dungeon Master, which I did play a bit.

Transport Tycoon Deluxe is, like Dungeon Master and the Impressions games, quite old, but I was still playing it occasionally a few years ago. Chris Sawyer designed it, and was connected to the Rollercoaster Tycoon games as well. He did another railroad game, named Locomotion, but I haven’t played it and the reviews were lackluster. I’ll repeat the question of “why is the second one the one to play?” There’s a still maintained version of TTD around, called OpenTTD.

I own a copy of City Life but haven’t played it.

Hmm, I can still think of a couple more. There’s the Anno games, which had a lot of colony building-- there’s a new one out. Capitalism, quite old and pretty dry as I remember. Patrician, which I didn’t get into, but I wouldn’t call it bad.

Had a look at Wikipedia trying to come up with a couple more and found a list of city building games. There haven’t been a lot of recent ones.