aka: Constructor Classic 1997, Constructor: The Classic 1997 Release, Constructor: The Simulation with Street Smarts
Moby ID: 3876
DOS Specs
Buy on Windows
$4.99 new on Steam
Included in See Also

Description official descriptions

Constructor gives the player the chance to run a construction company in a place where real estate is up for those who want to develop it first and where everything is allowed to get rid of the competition.

Starting in a single plot of land with the headquarters, a construction team (composed by a foreman and one to five workers) and a repairman, the player must start by building a wood mill and provide housing to the bottom of the social ladder: slobs. From there, taking advantage of their fast reproduction rate, the player can train new workers, and as soon as three different wooden huts are available, the council will allow the construction of a cement yard, which in turn allows the construction of better buildings. However, slobs wouldn't appreciate living in such luxury, and so a gadget factory can be built so that computers are distributed to their houses, allowing for a new generation of better educated citizens. While the workers pack a nasty punch when in a large group, violence should be left to the professionals. After building a Pizza Parlor, the player is allowed to use the services of gangsters. These are able to take on that pesky foreman or that building the Council asked to get rid off.

But there's more to the game than just building from ghetto houses to luxury apartments, and as they say, all is fair in war, and construction IS war. The player can send their foremen to capture other teams' buildings, or do even worse: provide housing for the scum of society. From hippies to ghosts, these can do a number on the other teams' properties. Want to stress out a tenant? Send the thugs to do a wild party in their house. Need some cash or materials? Send the thief to relieve a team from them. All this while preventing the others from doing the same to you by assigning police patrols to key areas. As time passes, it pays out to build other, more friendly, buildings. For example, a school allows everyone to breed more civilized members of the society, the hospital allows recovery of wounds much faster, and everyone can go to the park to relax a little. Improving the rooms and giving them garden furniture is also a good way of keeping tenants happy, but jealousy can grow among neighbors. Failing to comply to tenants requests and demands will quickly turn the Council against the player.

The player will have to balance the output of their tenants to achieve success: overdeveloping one aspect might make a dent in the bank account (leading to bankruptcy), cut the arrival of new workers (putting a strain on existing teams), prevent deceased tenants from being replaced (leaving houses vacant, eventually having them turn into a flaming pile of rubble not before giant cockroaches settle in), or decrease police and mob favors (necessary to patrol areas against undesirables and gangster actions).

The difficulty level affects what maps can be selected, but also which actions the undesirables can perform. To choose higher difficulty settings, more computer players (up to three) must be activated.

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Credits (DOS version)

57 People (55 developers, 2 thanks) · View all

Writing / Dialogue / Story
Original Concept / Main Graphics
Design Consultant
Executive Producer
Lead Graphics Artists
Storyboard Artist
Music / SFX
Map Design
System 3 QA
System 3 Admin
Special Thanks To
[ full credits ]



Average score: 82% (based on 22 ratings)


Average score: 3.4 out of 5 (based on 22 ratings with 1 reviews)

Only for those that cannot feel frustrated.

The Good
The strongest part about the game is without shadow of doubt the humour. From less shady characters like the workers to the undesirables like the hippie or the cockroach (who isn't making a boat out of a turd like in the sequel, but one can't have everything), all of them react differently to your clicks, with a small FMV on the top right corner. Graphics come second, with nicely animated character sprites, good looking buildings and garden features and some maps are filled with tiny details.

The interface, while messy at times, does a good job on giving an overview on the growing empire. A huge problem is that the game does not pause while messing around, so important things might be happening while you're watching if the teams are all well assembled...

A final mention goes to the well-designed overall concept. To build stuff around, a team has to be assembled, and depending on their abilities and fatigue, can take more or less time to build. Then, the rooms of each house can be improved, which increases tenants reproduction rate, life expectancy or decreases stress and building deterioration. Then, houses can be equipped with gadgets or garden features, which increases their overall quality.

The Bad
The pace of the game will make you cry. If there are too many variables to be considered playing alone, when there are other players fighting over the same turf it gets incredibly frustrating. Dealing with the number of reserve tenants in the HQ, the production of the level one tenants and completing a mission for the city with the enemy foreman attempting to take over one of your premium properties and picketing one of your raw material mills will be sooner or later responsible for some white hairs. More "sooner" than "later", mind.

Graphics, while good for the most part, have a few issues, notably the lack of variety character sprites - tenants and workers all look the same and housing blocks end up looking too alike.

The Bottom Line
Under what seems to be a simple sandbox game lies a city simulator filled with micro-management options which shortly becomes too complex for its own good.

To be enjoyable, the game has to be played with the "unlimited tenants" (and possibly others, depending on the mode) cheat. One has to wonder if during the design stages nobody thought "no, this is pushing micro-management too far", "let's make this easier" or "what about some assistants?", as the game simply gets too frustrating for serious play after a while. If you want to play something where you can relax and see your town grow, try SimCity.

DOS · by Luis Silva (13443) · 2006



The original game idea started life on the Amiga in the early 90s, but that interpretation was never anywhere near completed.


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  • MobyGames ID: 3876
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Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history! If your contribution is approved, you will earn points and be credited as a contributor.

Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Kirschsaft.

PlayStation 3 added by Charly2.0. Linux added by Cavalary. PS Vita added by GTramp. PlayStation, Windows added by chirinea. Macintosh added by Sciere.

Additional contributors: Jeanne, Alaka, Martin Smith, Patrick Bregger, Plok, firefang9212.

Game added May 29, 2001. Last modified April 13, 2024.