If you’re into sims, Kasedo Games’ tower building business management simulator Project Highrise: Architect’s Edition offers a fun, low-key, relaxing way to spend a few hours here and there. The game, now available for all three current consoles – Nintendo Switch, PS4, and Xbox One – is exactly what it sounds like. You build a skyscraper, make your tenants happy, and hopefully rake in a bunch of money doing so that you can put back into your building. Taking many of its cues from SimTower, Project Highrise is a solidly-designed game for older kids and up, and has no content objectionable for the younger members of the family.
Project Highrise is easy to learn and has an attractive, clean art style. Unlimited mode is very enjoyable, allowing you to effortlessly create towering skyscrapers with hotel rooms, restaurants, retail, residential apartments, and more. You can also play with an actual budget, adding more tension to the game as you try to make your building profitable as soon as you possibly can. Creating your management strategy is legitimately fun, as you figure out what kinds of services to offer your tenants and just how much you can invest without getting too far into debt. There’s plenty of depth to the strategy, yet the interface is simple and straightforward.
The game can start out pretty difficult. It took us more than a few restarts to figure out a decent formula to keep from going too far in the red. How much do we spend on services and utilities before we have to take in rent? Can we invest in a courier service so our unhappy office tenants don’t want to leave? It’s not necessarily a bad thing that this part isn’t so easy, though, because that makes it more rewarding when you actually start to make money. However, the game could have benefited from some of what SimTower provided players, in terms of adding placement and scheduling challenges for items such as parking lots and elevators.
While Project Highrise is fun in the same way most sims are, it wasn’t as engrossing as I expected. I had no trouble ending my gameplay for the day. I found the game a bit forgettable in that respect. And there were some tedious bits that could have been addressed. You have to lay down your infrastructure piece by piece. There’s no real option to, for example, lay all the electric lines for an entire floor at once. And although the art looked nice and all, there just wasn’t anything truly special about it. Such details may have contributed to my inability to truly get into it, which was never an issue with other sims I’ve played! Of course, one could argue that not getting addicted is a good thing. OK, maybe “The Bad” here is not so bad.
The Final Word
Project Highrise is an entertaining skyscraper sim that’s a pleasant pastime for those of us who always seem to have half a mind somewhere else. It’s well-designed fun in just the right amount. I wouldn’t call it exciting or ground-breaking, but I will definitely go back every once in awhile and see if I can build the best skyscraper ever.
Project Highrise: Architect’s Edition for consoles includes the base game, the Las Vegas DLC, and the content from Miami Malls, Tokyo Towers, London Life, and Brilliant Berlin. It was developed by Kalypso Media and published by SomaSim. The original game for PCs is available on Steam and Humble Bundle. Check out the video below for more:
*The Mommy Gamers received a copy of Project Highrise: Architect’s Edition for review purposes. This article also includes affiliate links.