Sim games have long held their own against more prominent genres in the industry. Mixing addictive gameplay and the desire to get just one more upgrade it’s not really difficult tom see why. Tower simulators have always held a special interest with me and I was never really sure why until I played Project Highrise on Steam. It takes everything I love about simulator games and cranks the difficulty up to eleven.
Project Highrise takes a different approach to the classic formula. It does so in a way that is going to frustrate some and please others immeasurably. I happen to count myself among those that will find endless frustration in the games mechanics. Not to say that this is a bad game because that couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s certainly a game that everyone should check out if you’re into Sim style games.
Building a structure has never felt so good before and a lot of that can be contributed to the fact that when you’re constructing your building it feels as though you are creating a well-oiled machine. Connections are made on a level that I haven’t seen in a Sim game before. Each room has specific needs, apartment, need water, power, and gas while businesses are always going to need phone lines. When you place something like an accounting office, you’ll also need to allocate space for a courier service and a parcel service. See the thing about this game is that it requires you to think beyond your immediate needs, you need to plan long term.
As you continue to play you’ll begin to unlock more business and tenants. This happens when you’re building gains prestige and that’s done by making sure you have the biggest baddest tower around. I’m kidding, you gain prestige by adding tenants and making sure they are happy as well as doing some top notch interior decorating. It also helps to have coffee shops and sandwich shops, because of course, that’s what attracts a business. Didn’t you know that in the world of high-class business all decisions are food based? Keeping people happy in this game goes far beyond making sure they have the necessary lines crossing through their room, though. In order to have a happy, bustling economy, you need to make sure that everything surrounding an office is beneficial to it.
This game has one glaring flaw and while it’s not a big one, it is annoying. It’s unbelievably hard for games of this nature. I love this style of Sim because it allows me to just keep building and bringing in new sources of income until I either get bored or there is nowhere left to go with construction.
Project Highrise has the kind of difficulty and learning curve reserved for NES games and arcade titles. It honestly turns me off from the entire experience despite the fact that at its core, I genuinely enjoy the game. So while this game isn’t really my cup of tea, I do know that it has an audience out there. That audience might be 40 something structural engineers or bankers but that still counts for a target audience. This is one of the most complicated Sim games I’ve ever played and if someone were to ask me my personal opinion on the matter. I’m not a fan. I love resource management games; they’re some of my favorites and thanks to services like Google Play and iTunes they’re in abundance. Some of them are fantastic, while the majority of them are downright awful.
While the game gets a lot of things right in many respects, there are just a few things that should either be changed or removed completely. One of those is the way that money is accumulated, not that it’s fundamentally flawed, but having a daily expense report creates a level of stress that I don’t really feel is required to get the point across.
All in all I say check Project Highrise out if you enjoy high amounts of stress and financial management.