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Light, digestible (indie) game reviews.

Project Highrise

Elevator Pitch

Reviewed by: James "Voidfox" | Twitter | Apr 26, 2017

I found myself restarting my game to get a better start and it was fun each time.

  • Review Play Time: 15.2 hours
  • Price: $21.99 (CAD)

so far... I got $1.45/Hour* of fantastical diversion

*Based on updated Steam total play time.

Game Flow

  • Choose contracts based on type of skyscraper you want
  • Construct floors with stairs/elevators
  • Fill in floors with types of rooms
  • Cater to the needs of the tenants
  • Add more floors, go higher!
  • Oh no, you're out of money, take out a loan
  • Decorate the building
  • Hire special consultants to unlock new features
  • Get rewarded for completing a contract, sign another!
  • Build even higher!
  • Become a Highrise BILLIONAIRE!

Likes

  • There is so much to do, yet micromanaging does not feel overwhelming.
  • Tutorials are quick, bite-sized learning sessions.
  • Scenario and sandbox modes.
  • Performance is good, even with towering skyscrapers tracking loads of data per second.
  • Useful heatmap overlay system to quickly visualize the areas in which need improvement (happiness, smell, noise, grime, etc.)
  • "Oops" moments happen, luckily tools are made available to "relocate" tenants when needed.
  • Boots up in seconds without forcing me to view three minutes of animated, non-skippable logos.
  • Can be played entirely using just the mouse.
  • Constant flow of City Contracts to sign, providing challenging but achievable goals.
  • Learning from previous games and starting a new building is fun.
  • Allows for creativity thanks to features like sky-bridges (e.g. connect two separate buildings together).
All Likes

Dislikes

  • Flat art style can make it difficult to distinguish between different types of rooms.
  • It can feel a bit lifeless, despite workers and tenants running around the building.
  • Would have liked more keyboard shortcuts for building tasks.
  • Difficult to build/place rooms when playing on smaller resolutions or windowed mode: the UI can get in the way.
  • Utility information is hidden in menus instead of being an on-screen overlay/window.
All Dislikes

The Final Word

Project Highrise is the kind of game I can launch any time I have a few minutes, or a few hours to spare. It appears complex at first, but helpful hints and intuitive design make it very easy to start playing. However, creating a successful, booming skyscraper will still take time and plenty of forethought.

This game is a careful balance of an ever growing skyrise ecosystem, a balance constantly being tipped by the needs of my tenants. The larger the building's population, the more resources they required and expectations they whined, *ahem*, asked for.

"Will you shut up, I'm trying to build you a dang patio!"

I love that I can build a skyrise the way I want: go all business and build a giant office building, rent luxurious rooms, two-floor apartments, and roof-top penthouses to wealthy tenants, or mix it up! It is a blast experimenting with layouts and attempting to create an efficient, well operated highrise.

If you dig simulation and/or tycoon games, then Project Highrise is worth a look, especially for the tower sim fans.

It's a long way to the top...

Worth it?

Yes

Reviewed by: James "Voidfox" | Twitter | Apr 26, 2017