Fancy dabbing into the world of skyscraper building and micro-management? If the answer is yes then Project Highrise could be of huge interest.
A tutorial is available to guide players through the basics of the game. It doesn’t take long and will make progression in the game a lot easier and straightforward compared to randomly clicking on options to have a gander at what they will or won’t do for you.
Starting a session comes with two choices which at first glance don’t seem too different. Either New Game or New Scenario. You’d be forgiven for thinking it’s the same thing however the scenario option is like a campaign of pre-requisite tasks to complete to achieve the end goal. New game allows for free game to build at your own leisure with the options to change difficulty levels, lot sizes and even to go all god-like with unlimited cash and resources.
On the surface Project Highrise appears basic and inviting. You’d be forgiven for thinking “this is going to be easy” but as you progress the game opens up it’s demanding micro-management and the challenge then unfolds. Trudging through the whole day can be rather monotonous once you’ve found your financial resources have dwindled. At that point your almost helpless until the rent comes in at midnight. If any problems present themselves when there is no income the only recourse could be to cut back on maintenance costs such as utilities however they are the essentials tenants demand. Stopping anything important could result in a mass exodus and financial ruin. Credit card and bank loans can be offered to get out of a financial crisis however the repayments are fixed so there’s no way to repay early or change the amount. Only 2 forms of credit can be used at any given time so it’s important to decide how much credit is required before activating.
The three different tenancy types (residential, office and commercial) have their own unique requirements. Residents require trash disposal on every floor of which they reside. The higher paying tenants also have specific demands such as routing cable tv and telephone lines to their room. They also require various dinning and shopping options within the building.
Project Highrise includes various reward schemes within the game which allow for media campaigns, building improvements and attract high-tier tenants.
- Prestige stars are awarded for various achievements such as reaching population goals, tenants happiness and completing special events. Higher prestige attracts high-end tenants.
- Buzz points are generated by retail outlets and restaurants. The points can be used to spend on media campaigns which provide benefits such as saving on utility costs for the duration of the media campaign thus increasing revenue during this period or run a campaign to attract a large crowd of visitors which benefits the businesses within the building.
- Influence is accumulated from offices and residents. This is used to improve the building and infrastructure from aesthetics such as art on the walls to politics and operations. Perks include improved maintenance & service, exclusive elevators, better public transport and increasing the buildings height limit. Influence is extemely important to the buildings growth and potential prosperity.
Project Highrise can be rather challenging at times, more often than not managing the finances can be painstaking especially when the rooms get grimy and require constant restoration. They do tend to get incredibly dirty a lot faster than one would expect in real life. The trouble is with the larger buildings there’s more rooms to facilitate for and costs can be rather extreme. A good supply of handymen will be required. Crew size requirement is dependent on the size of the building. So the teams require careful management and monitoring.
The infrastructure requires improvements throughout the buildings development. Early in the game players will need to opt for the cheapest option for setting the electrical circuits in the building which will allow for 10 connections. The cost is £250 to install and £250 per day as running costs. Perfectly fine for a small development. When it gets to the point where 3 terminals need to be installed allowing for a total of 30 connections (3 x 10 connections = 30 connections, £250 per day x 3 = £750 daily running costs) it can be wise to replace the existing terminals with a much larger 50 connection capacity. The running cost is the same as three smaller terminals but provides an extra 20 connections which is perfect for future growth. The only downside is the initial build cost is £2000 compared to the £250 for the 10 connection version. As build space below the building becomes limited purchasing higher capacity features is more efficient. Water, gas, telephone and cable TV also have similar upgrade options.
Tenants can be rather demanding and in most cases quick to leave if they aren’t appeased. For instance some office types such as creative workers require a bottled water service. Some tenants don’t like to be too high in the building whilst others hate to be near smelly areas. Managing all these factors along with the other facets of the game can be really engaging and a fun but challenging experience.
On the surface a light intriguing strategy game. Delve a little deeper and you’ll find an in depth micro-management strategy game. I thoroughly enjoy the management strategy genre. Many hours can easily be lost without prior warning. Project Highrise is no exception. An addictive and enjoyable experience.