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Project Highrise review

On September 13, 2016 by Aaron Meehan

I’ve always enjoyed building and management games, but a lot of them are frankly too large, sure it is nice to build an entire city or manage a large corporation, but maybe going smaller is a better idea. SomaSim Game’s Project Highrise allows you to go small as it is based around building and managing a skyscraper in Chicago.

Since you are focusing on building and maintaining on structure, Project Highrise is more engaging as everything you need is just above or below you, so unlike in many other building or management games, there is no jumping through menus and loading screens. Its focus on building a skyscraper is also interesting as it shows just how much work goes into making a skyscraper, as the game shows you can build offices, apartments, shops and restaurants, but while you can build space for everything, you do need services to operate them. The services required include the basics such as electricity and water, and services such as a security office or storage room.

outdoor-art

Service and space management is one of the toughest aspects of the game as you have to carefully plan out where you want to place the wiring closets, elevators, stairs etc. After all, you want as little leftover space as possible. Speaking of size, you can decide how much space you work with, you can choose from a standard lot, a narrow lot, a short and wide lot or finally an extra large lot. Of course, as you go through a game you can alter the size of your lot by using influence points.

Influence points are one of three currencies in the game. The currencies available are money, buzz and the previously mentioned influence points. Money is simple to explain, as running out of money is a game over, you generate money via rent or by taking out a loan. Buzz is generated when locations within your skyscraper become popular, usually shops or restaurants, when you gain enough buzz you can start a media campaign to increase interest in apartments, infrastructure, retail and restaurants, or offices. The final currency, influence points is similar to that of a talent system as you can upgrade your building by going down aesthetics, politics or operations paths, or if you have enough time all three paths. Each path has its own reward, for example, the Aesthetics path allows you to make art galleries, the politics path allows you increase the size of your skyscraper, and operations allows you to increase construction and maintenance speed. Influence points are generated by well influential building such as offices or apartments.

Now if building a skyscraper from the ground up isn’t the only task available to you in the game. Project Highrise has a number of scenarios that involve you trying to rescue a financially ruined skyscraper or turning a small market into a famous mall. The game has a total of ten scenarios each with their own difficulty level and win scenarios.

While I enjoyed playing Project Highrise, the game can, unfortunately, get boring quickly especially for those who aren’t engrossed in the building and management genres. The game also tends to slow players down a bit by including various limitations with some offices not moving in until there are a specified number of shops, restaurants or offices. Although I do feel that the various limitations might be made less annoying with mod content as Project Highrise does support Steam Workshop.

Graphically the game isn’t going to be pushing your graphics card to the limit as the game just uses flat textures, this simplistic design means that despite being able to build a 100-floor tower you don’t have to worry about performance or loading screens. In terms of audio, you have music and effects. Effects include sounds such as construction, cars and the basic sounds you would hear in a city. The music is soothing instrumental songs that will leave you nice and relaxed no matter how your skyscraper is doing.

retail-unit-placement

Conclusion

If you have ever wanted to manage your own skyscraper than Project Highrise is the game for you. However, the game does tend to bog players down with artificial limitations.

Score: 8/10

Pros Cons
+ A fun small-scale management game – You primarily need to make your own fun
+ Mod support – Annoying artificial limitations
+ Scenarios increase the lifespan of the game
Developer Publisher Genre Rating Platform Release date
SomaSim Kasedo Games Sim  N/A Windows and Mac September 8th

*A review code was provided by the game’s publisher.*

For more information on Project Highrise, visit http://www.kasedogames.com/projecthighrise.

Author: Aaron Meehan

Hi, I’m the creator of SG Gaming Info. When I’m not working on my writing or creating content for this site’s YouTube channel, I like to relax and enjoy character driven story games.


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