For the masses, the equation of city building equating to fun was probably first started by the world renown series of computer games called Sim City. In fact, Will Wright, the video game designer of Sim City found that out too by accident, when he had more fun designing the city background to a game than playing the game itself. Thus Sim City came to be.
Since then, there have been many city simulation games made in the digital form. This demand not going unnoticed by the tabletop hobby and especially Bezier Games, who made Suburbia, the highest ranked city building board game on BoardGameGeek, the world's most popular boardgaming site.
In Suburbia, you are in charge of building a borough and you want it to be the most populated among all your other competitors.
The board game feels like one of the scenario campaign missions in Sim City as at the start of the game, several public victory goals are decided on randomly with each player getting one private one too, which only that player can do. Thus like one of those scenario missions, you have a niche way you want to build your borough that accomplishes as many goals as possible.
During a player's turn, they first choose a tile from the row of those available and then after paying for it, build it in their borough for it's effects. Such as green tiles are residential areas and usually gives you population while blue business tiles usually gives you money.
Add to that, many tiles are connected indirectly to other player's boroughs. Such as airports that gives that player a benefit everytime another player builds an airport. Thus Suburbia is not a multiplayer solitaire game. You actually want and have to keep track of what the other players are building and doing to win.
Although the art style is somewhat bland. At the end of the game, you do feel you have built a borough with a distinct personality and probably will still want to take a picture of it as i did with my libertarian borough called Independence Hill.
Suburbia has many pros, it is fun, plays in about an hour and a half, is interactive and has quite a bit of strategic value to each decision. The downsides of the game is that it is probably on the heavier side strategy wise for newer gamers to the hobby and the luck of what tiles get revealed during a player's turn .
Overall, a thumbs up from me and it truly gives me the feeling I had from playing Sim City when I was a child and yet, does it in less than 2 hours.