Urbek City Builder: Archipelago Biome Guide

Quick Links

  • Getting Started
  • Stilt Houses
  • Ferries
  • Maritime Industries
  • Tourism

The Archipelago biome can be a challenge in Urbek City Builder. Since most of the map is water, your most valuable resource is space. There's no room for sprawling districts or vast swathes farmland, so you have to make every tile count.

The good news is that the Urbekites of the Archipelago are master fishermen! With their coastal housing and industrial fisheries, you can produce plenty of food for your growing population. There are other uses for your coastline, though, so be ready to make some tough choices as the game goes on.

Getting Started

The Archipelago starts similarly to the Temperate map, though you won't have as much space to work with. Build only enough Farms to sustain your population as it grows, focusing on getting to 1300 citizens. While you're building up to that point, build two Farm Houses to unlock the Grain Silo. Build the Grain Silo to unlock the Neighborhood Council, then you can immediately bulldoze the Silo if you don't need it.

As soon as Stilt Houses become available, build as many as necessary to feed your entire population then tear down all of your Farms. The Stilt Houses are much more efficient at Food production, and you'll need the space taken up by the Farms.

When Chapels and City Council are unlocked, enable the Purveyor Chapels Policy. This causes Chapels to provide Food Services, making them an efficient use of space since they're only one tile. Be sure to have a surplus of Food on hand, since Purveyor Chapels use more food than Minimarkets and you'll need the extra to avoid deficit.

Stilt Houses

The standout feature of the Archipelago is its reliance on Stilt Houses to generate Food. Stilt Houses become available once your city reaches a population of 1300, and can be built on any water tile that touches at least one land tile. Each house produces no Work of any sort, but makes a disproportionately large amount of Food.

Basic Wooden Stilt Houses require at least three forest tiles within a radius of three squares, and can be built up to seven tiles away from a road. They also have no upkeep cost, so it's easy to build and maintain lots of them as long as your forests remain somewhat intact.

Colorful Stilt Houses are painted in bright colors by their inhabitants, and produce fifty Food each rather than forty-five. This comes with a small upkeep cost in Energy, but is well worth the trade. A Colorful Stilt House will appear if its foundation has a road and at least four Leisure within four squares.

Libraries are a great way to get the required Leisure to upgrade a Stilt House. They have no road requirements and generate four Leisure from a single tile. They don't unlock for a while, so in the meantime parks, beaches, and Urban Bars are a good alternative.


Ferries are essential for connecting your islands, as bridges are unavailable in the Archipelago. A Ferry needs at least one adjacent road tile, and is considered connected by roads to any other Ferry within its radius. Basic Ferries can reach up to seven tiles, and Advanced Ferries can reach up to fifteen.

When choosing which island to start your city, consider how many other islands will be accessible via Ferry. Place your Ferries to ensure that you can build on as much dry ground as possible while you're waiting for Advanced Ferries to unlock.

If you have a narrow peninsula or isthmus, or just a very small island, build Ferries six tiles apart to remove the need for roads there altogether! As long as you leave space for buildings like Hardware Stores that require road adjacency, all your other buildings should be close enough to a Ferry to count as having a road.

In addition to a much longer range, Advanced Ferries provide six Connectivity within five tiles. This is important in the late game, since you're unlikely to have the necessary space for a Metro Hub. Advanced Ferries can be built adjacent to one another, so a pair of them side-by-side can provide the same level of Connectivity as a Subway Station.

Maritime Industries

Industrial Production works a little differently in the Archipelago. Warehouses can only be built within the range of a Seaport, limiting where you can get Logistics. Like Ferries, Seaports need to be adjacent to a road.

Doubling up and having industrial buildings share Warehouses is essential. Your industrial districts will need to be densely built, and you won't have a lot of room for miner housing compared to other biomes. Expect to need at least two Heavy Coal Plants, since Watermills are not available and there isn't sufficient space to generate lots of renewable energy. Eventually, you'll need to make the shift to nuclear power supported by Biomass Stockpiles to keep the lights on across your city.

One of the most important industrial buildings in the Archipelago is the Commercial Dock. It doesn't convert housing into Fishermen's Houses like the normal Dock; instead, it simply produces seven hundred Food as long as it has four Logistics nearby. Every industrial district should have as many Commercial Docks as you can fit once they're available.

The Archipelago offers Ship Scrapyards as a means to produce Iron. This can be useful to get a little extra without opening a second mining operation, but Scrapyards are very inefficient and should only be used as a last resort.


Tourism is a trait unique to the Archipelago, created by beaches, promenades, and other seaside attractions. Once you've built up sufficient Tourism across your city, you can build a Marina, a coastal building that upgrades Modern housing into Touristic Seaside Neighborhoods. This unique housing type sports an excellent Happiness of fourteen, and generates Night Life for the nearby area.

Touristic Seaside Neighborhoods synergize perfectly with Night Life Neighborhoods, as they allow you to easily place a Cool Square nearby. Such a large party town will do wonders for your overall Happiness, but remember to build an extra Goods Factory or two in order to supply the Night Life Neighborhoods if you decide to go this route

Between Touristic Seaside Neighborhoods and the numerous bars you'll probably have in the area, you should be able to safely implement the Increased Alcohol Tax Policy without falling under the Night Life Neighborhood's minimum requirements. This is a great way to get extra Unskilled and Skilled Work if you need it.

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