I really want to play this city builder that gives you 30 minutes to escape the Earth

I think of city builders as peaceful longform games—I could spend hours, even weeks, crafting my perfect little clockwork society, drawing roads and watching houses and shops pop up as it grows. They can be soothing, but there’s also commitment there. Building a city is a slow process. That’s why I’m so taken with the idea of indie city builder T-Minus 30, which completely upends the premise: You have 30 minutes to build a city and harvest enough resources to send your population into space before the dying Earth snuffs out whoever’s left.

The time limit is novel for a city builder, but I think what T-Minus 30 does that’s really clever is change why you’re building. You’re leaving the city behind after half an hour. It doesn’t matter what it looks like; the endgame here isn’t constructing a perfect work of art to zoom out and admire. All that matters is how many rocket launches your city can support before time’s up.

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