I started a similar thread awhile back and have received some good suggestions. Some of the games in the original post may appeal to you, especially Cultures. I'd recommend playing the most recent one (8th Wonder of the World), as it's the most like Towns without the insane learning curve of Dwarf Fortress.
Here's the thread if you want to check it out: viewtopic.php?f=12&t=1450
PS: Though Dwarf Fortess looks like crap even with a tileset and takes forever to learn, it is the deepest, most advanced game in the genre and is well worth the time spent learning the ropes. As others have said, it can keep you occupied for months on end.