Size matters. At least, in Project Highrise it does, a tower-builder, where it is up to you to construct and maintain a gigantic tower and, with each new floor, keep the residents happy and give them what they need to live.
Firstly, you build a closed system, in which people live, work and entertain themselves. Actually Project Highrise is a City-builder, much like SimCity or Cities: Skylines, only broken down into a high-rise building, in which there is the plenty of life. Your task in Project Highrise is simple, but then again, not simple: Build the tower, fill it with residents and make sure that everyone is happy.
At the beginning everything it seems very simple – and much has changed in comparison to the first impressions of Project Highrise really. If only that it’s the size of the commercial residential towers, which have increased by nearly 20 floors, once you begin to exceed to this point however, Project Highrise starts to get really demanding. The core of Highrise is, even though it might not seem at first glance – management of its residents. Only when their needs are met, can your tower can grow and open new building possibilities – and in turn, create new needs. The eternal circle of consumption limited to the four walls of a skyscraper.
Project Highrise is strongest when various needs against each other and you have to find a solution in a limited space. Everyone wants a great food selection, but no one wants to live or work near a noisy food courts – eternally long queue up at the elevator to come to dinner, will then also nobody. With each new decision, as your tower of life is to develop, you build a more complex machine in which each gear must engage. Project Highrise may look like a “life simulation”, when hundreds of residents scurrying through the aisles, looking for food, work, the next copy shop or dog sitter. But at the end of each resident just a replaceable gear, cynical as it may sound.
The further the tower grows, the more complicated the machine. These are not necessarily the individual systems of Project Highrise that the challenge of the game – are responsible – especially noticeable on the higher difficulty levels. The economic system is not particularly complex, the needs of residents is actually quite simple, construction limited to the best possible use of space, with the correct distances between suppliers and demanders. Only when the individual mechanisms and systems interact and, especially if they preclude themselves, a kind of tension in Project Highrise develops.
In order to give you an idea of which direction to go, the game will show some predefined scenarios that naturally lead the game to a specific goal. Without these scenarios though, there are smaller tasks that structure the game, meaning that in the end you have to know yourself in which “direction” you want to build and what challenges you seek. One problem is that because this kind of “freedom” stumps many management games and ends up ruining their charm. However, what I notice about Project Highrise that it is not quite as deep as it might appear at first. It takes a bit of time to find the individual details behind the modernist surface of the game itself – which you can adjust their own with Mods. But if you know which tenants have an impact on the ecosystem of the house, the real work begins and you begin to see what is at the heart of Project Highrise: Continuous optimization of a human machine.
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