If like me you enjoyed the building aspect of The Sims games, you’re in for a treat with Hometopia. Due to be released in January 2022, Hometopia allows you to build and design your dream home from scratch.
You can do this on your own or with friends, as well as indulging in Career Mode where you can renovate existing homes (a much more advanced take on House Flipper).
At the time of this Hometopia review, only Sandbox mode is available. My guess is that The Isn’t Company is still working on Career mode, which I’m eager to see.
The Hometopia demo is currently available to play on Steam. If you’ve got the time, it’s definitely worth investing some into Hometopia.
Choosing Sandbox will allow you to create a custom neighborhood, work on an existing one, or build using a template. For this Hometopia review, I opted to create a new neighborhood.
There’s a choice between Small Neighborhood and Large Neighborhood, depending on how much time you’ve got on your hands!
While there isn’t a step-by-step tutorial within the game itself, there are some handy Hometopia tutorial screens before you get started.
Building The Foundations of Hometopia
The first thing you’ll do is build the foundations of your home. Much like The Sims, you can choose the Build option from the toolbar to get started.
Here you’ll find the wall, half-wall, floor, and ceiling foundations. Simply click on an option to start building.
You can place single foundations down if you’re planning an intricate build, or you can drag your mouse to cover a larger area. The controls are relatively straightforward, with the game displaying some helpful tooltips throughout.
I quickly realized that you don’t need to leave a gap for any doors (external or internal) to be placed. The building process is actually fairly intuitive, although I would have liked the option to be able to drag the wall foundations across the entirety of the floor foundations, rather than having to deal with each corner separately.
Styling The Exterior
Once you’ve got the foundations sorted, the fun begins (at least for me it does). You can choose from different wall exteriors to design the outside of your home.
When you’ve chosen the exterior, simply click or click and drag to paint the outside. Frustratingly, there wasn’t an option to paint all of the exterior walls at once. For anyone working on a large build, this could get a little time-consuming.
While I appreciate the level of detail that’s gone into Hometopia, it does feel like there should be some quick options for those that don’t want to spend too much time on one area of their dream home.
My next job was to add some doors and windows to the outside of my home. There were a decent amount of options to choose from, with the potential for Steam Workshop additions (I hope) being introduced later down the line.
After trying to align my windows and doors, I soon noticed the option to snap the window height. This made things a lot easier, allowing me to quickly place my windows all at the same level.
Planning The Inside
If you’re a big fan of The Sims, you’ll probably empathize with how frustrating it would get planning a room, only to turn all of your plans on their head when you realized your home was big enough.
Hometopia’s Floorplanner option is a darn cool feature. It offers you a top-down view of your home, allowing you to plan where each room is going to be placed.
From living rooms to libraries, kitchens to game rooms, there’s plenty to be getting on with in order to build your dream home.
When it comes to designing the flooring and walls, there are a few choices. You can choose between different types, for example, carpets or tiles, wallpaper or paint.
Navigating back to each part of your project is quite simple. You can click on the tabs at the bottom to close or open the window you were on, or you can work your way back through the breadcrumbs; Install > Walls Interior > Wallpaper.
However, almost every time I forgot the option to do this was there, forcing the window to close and having to reopen everything again.
Furnish Your Dream Home
When you’re ready to furnish your home, there’s quite a lot to discover. You can filter by room type, right down to the laundry room or neighborhood.
Each room type then gives you a list of further options. For example, if you choose the kitchen, you’ll see all the available options like appliances, counters, and so on.
I would have liked to have seen some more options here, but we have to remember this game is still in development.
The Counter Sets offer options to furnish your kitchen quickly; you can select from individual countertops to counters with sinks, ovens, or complete sets.
My design skills are definitely lacking, but I wanted to show you what was on offer.
After placing your kitchen units down, you can add larger appliances. This includes refrigerators, ovens, and accessories like fruit bowls, cutlery racks, and more.
An Ambitious Home Renovation Sim
Hometopia definitely has the potential to offer hours of fun. For gamers who love the finer details, you’ll definitely appreciate how much work has gone into this game.
Graphically, Hometopia was a pleasant surprise. Each object looked really detailed and felt like a real home behind the screen.
Being able to build an entire neighborhood with roads, cars, parks, and more is something I’ll definitely be investing a lot more time into.
While the options are currently limited, there’s going to be a wealth of opportunity for the developers and community to contribute to Hometopia.