Updated: Dec 5, 2020
Project Highrise is a “construction simulation” game. I use quotes because that is one of the smaller aspects of the game. It is so much more than that.
Of course, it is a construction simulation where you are constructing a new building that eventually, hopefully, become a skyscraper. The next is building management, as you must keep your building running smoothly with maintenance and amenities for your tenants. Then it is like a marketing or real estate management because you must find tenants that fit what your other tenants want or what you want your skyscraper’s identity to be. You take all of that, mix it all, bake for a few hours, and top it off with a cherry made of project management. And if you are crazy, add some sprinkles of hospitality management with a fancy resort somewhere.
The name of the process is Just Play 3 Hours. Those that keep up with the blog know that sometimes I go over as I am having a great time and lose track of time. Coupled with calling it Just Play a Minimum of 3 Hours sounded ridiculous. All that to say, this game took me on a fun, engaging, and sometimes frustrating journey 8 hours before I realized it. It was the night before Thanksgiving, and I had to cook the turkey. I am tired while preparing dinner, but it was so worth it.
Now the game, it is complex, and that is what makes it great. No idea how realistic it is, but if it is even remotely realistic, I realize I could never make it in the building management or also commercial real estate business. Tenants are picky and demanding.
You have someone that doesn’t like noise or smells but wants plenty of restaurant options in the building and probably catering services too. And that is just the office minions. And these office drones don’t even think they should have to copy their papers! They demand copy service! Now let’s talk about if you want to skip those annoying office workers and get into the residential game. Just because they want some penthouse suite at the price of a studio on the wrong side of town, they feel entitled to have dry-cleaning, house cleaning, and grocery shopping all in the same building. Get into retail, okay, sounds good. Except they don’t want any competition, being the only game in town, but expect many customs. Sorry, but even I don’t want to walk city blocks for one store and do it over for another store. I like my stuff altogether. And don’t also get me started on the utility demands. Electric, Phone, Cable TV, Gas, Water, HVAC, and Satellite all need to be considered and planned.
So yes, all that sounds like a significant pain in the rear, but if you can make it work and find that magical balance, it is a truly magical thing. Seeing that money roll in every day, making the city happy where they give you contract money. I finally hit this beautiful point by basically segregating my different types into areas and not mixing them.
Everything was great until someone goes on strike, or the price of wire goes up. Damn that economy! You just never know.
The depth of this game is fantastic, and I know I didn’t even scratch the service as there were so many types of rooms, I haven’t built, nor did I check out any of the hospitality type options. Plus, all the expansion content! There will be hours more to be had in this game, and I highly recommend it for people that enjoy complicated builders and management simulation strategy games.
Just to be transparent, I got this game on sale (like I always do) because it was on my wish list after playing Rise of Industry. Steam recommended it as a similar game. You can read the blog here about the Rise of Industry. Turns out it Project Highrise is the same publisher! Well, now I have added Distant Kingdoms to my wishlist from the same publisher after scoping out their website. Two great titles I have tried now, no pressure.
Game: Project Highrise
Publisher: Kasedo Games
Initial Release Date: September 8, 2016