Dystopika review

by on June 25, 2024
Reviewed On
Release Date

June 21, 2024


Dystopika is kind of a palate-cleanser. It’s a chilled-out cyberpunk city builder with no end goals, no city management, and absolutely zero stress. And it’s precisely what I didn’t know I needed right now.

It comes from developer Voids Within, a one dev-team who was inspired by night-time travels through a handful of Asian cities, drinking in that unique, futuristic aesthetic of rain-drenched neon and huge ads, a visual style made famous by touchstones like Blade Runner and Ghost in the Shell, and more recently by Altered Carbon and Cyberpunk 2077.

But rather than distil that into something where you’re constantly attempting to appease a populace two missed burgers away from rioting, they instead created one of the most relaxing building games I’ve ever played.


It starts you on a black map, vaguely reminiscent of a desert at night and gives you three building types and two corporate headquarters to build with. You have the Central Business District, New Eden, and Low Town, all with four or five different buildings to place. You can select them individually or simply choose “random” to drop a mix of all three. Once placed, you can grow the buildings, creating towering skyscrapers bedecked with neon laser shows and light beams.

A Decoration panel lets you splash corporate logos and glowing commercials across the sides of buildings, and the more you place and the higher you grow, the more you’ll unlock. Eventually your skyways will be full of flying traffic, vehicles will alight and take off from helipads hundreds of storeys in the air, and your city will shimmer with flashes of light and colour.


The third build tool lets you sprinkle small ads, lights, street signs, and shop signs across the buildings, bringing your city to life. And as you build and expand, the area around your buildings will slowly evolve into tight alleys and clustered tenements. Of course, you’ll need to use your imagination to see a lot of it, but I couldn’t help but smile as I watched tiny flying cars zip between skyscrapers.

Eventually you’ll unlock holographic light shows like a swimming blue whale that really cements the Cyberpunk aesthetic, satellite towers that blink in the dark, and blimps that circle buildings displaying ads. If you like, you can even import your own images to use as decorations.


The only problem with Dystopika is how limited it is. I’d unlocked and used everything multiple times in the first hour, and could then only fiddle with settings like weather and time of day to find variety. After a while I was building for the sake of it, and while it’s relaxing and gorgeous to look at, I started wishing there were two or three times the build options. Certain things form organically like bridges, when it would be nice to see the terrain and work with it, creating these features yourself.

There’s not much scope to be really creative here, as there’s little colour and no ability to create a bustling metropolis like you’d see in Cities: Skylines, for example – but then this is not intended to be that. Dystopika is a small-scale, intimate city builder designed to let you chill while you build, and for people who really enjoy that cyberpunk art style – like me – it’s an absolute treat.


Looks gorgeous
Very relaxing


Limited building options
Easy to unlock everything

Editor Rating
Our Score


In Short

Dystopika is a small-scale, intimate city builder designed to let you chill while you build.