Project Highrise is a game that certainly doesn’t seem to be very interesting. After all, what’s there to manage in a building? Answer is: a lot!
The goal of project highrise is to manage and run a skycraper successfully. When I first saw what this game was about, I really didn’t have high hopes for it. I mean, how much of a challenge is there in such an endeavour. Nevertheless, I was pleasantly proven wrong. This game is definitely one of the better management games out there.
The game has a great tutorial to start you off with navigating the interface, as well as perform the more common tasks in the game. Additionally, the tutorial also shows you how to access important pieces of information, such as unlock requirements for certain services, looking at criteria required by a client to move in, etc.
Clients can be anything from companies, to restaurants, to apartment-dwellers. Each client has their own needs and requirements in order to move in. Clients also require a certain amount of floor-space to operate. When you start, you’ll being with studio apartments and clients that work in a single office. But as you expand, you’ll find 3-bedroom apartments, massive restaurants and giant offices that are looking to rent a spot in your building.
The idea of the game is simple: you have ownership of a building. Your goal is to lease areas out of this building to prospective clients, who will pay you a certain rent. You use this rent for upkeep of the building, as well as future expansions that you can carry out. Some clients will require very simple ammenities like electricity. Some clients, however, are a lot more demanding. They can demand things like telephone lines and services like storage facitilies in your building. Accordingly, these more-picky clients pay more rent, so there’s a careful balance there.
As you expand, you build multiple storeys, can make your building wider, and even extend your basement deeper. You can also add elevators to allow your clients to reach higher levels (which I highly recommend after you go past the third floor). As your building gets larger and larger, your reputation will also rise, allowing you to gain access to more exclusive clients as well as implement some more unique services.
Project Highrise, at least for me, was one of those games where I looked up at the time and noticed several hours had passed without me realising. I got so engrossed in the game, I had pretty much skipped two meals. The game is not easy, though. I went bankrupt the first couple of times before I managed to figure out what I was doing wrong – I was expanding too quickly, putting in too many expensive services without being able to sustain them.
And there lies one of the biggest dangers in the game. You need to be really smart without how you spend your money. Many times, it is much more worth it to get a system of a smaller size (for example, a power generation system), even if you know that through later expansion, you’re going to need a bigger one. More expensive systems cost more money to run and if you try to jump to the largest system immediately, you’ll find yourself going bankrupt very quickly.
The game’s interface is simple, allowing you to pull up the information you need very quickly. You even have access to a data window, which gives you text-based information on the operations of your building. That is my one, small complaint with this game. I would very much like to see charts and graphs showing my finances and general trends. I think it would be a nice addition to the game.
Overall, Project Highrise is a great game if you’re interested in management games. It’s definitely worth a few hours sunk into it and can quickly get addictive.