Project Highrise Aims To Be A Modern SimTower

Yoot Saito’s SimTower is one of those games I return to every so often, for the pure satisfaction of building something and watching its simulation flourish. In recent years it has increasingly become a game I wish someone would make a modern version of – and no, various mobile genre-mates don’t count.

Good news! The makers of gold prospecting town sim 1849 are now working on their second game, and it’s called Project Highrise [official site]. There’s little information so far, but there’s enough to make me excited.

From the sounds of the game’s site, all the old SimTower strengths are planned. You’ll start from nothing and build your tower layer to layer; you’ll need to keep residents happy as you do; and everything is underpinned by a rich simulation.

Everything else I know comes from the game’s development log. There are posts explaining how you can attract famous and fancy restaurants to your tower by increasing your ‘prestige’:

While money can’t buy fame in Project Highrise, it can buy famous art pieces – from fountains to paintings to statues. Small artworks will add a minimal amount of prestige: they’re nice pieces for the tenants and visitors to notice as they walk by, but nothing too terribly impressive in their own right. By contrast, large works of art will add significantly to your prestige level. You can project your fame by placing a statue in your plaza or commissioning a famous mural for your lobby. These will not only impress the tenants, but they’ll attract visitors in their own right to come and behold your good taste.

And about how your tower will not only be home to residents, but visitors drawn to your tower by another metric, called ‘buzz’:

Also, some of your businesses will begin to draw in clients, patients and colleagues from the city for appointment and meetings. Once the appointment is concluded, they may grab lunch. Or if the meeting wraps up, it may be time to head to the bar to continue discussions over a beer.

As well as vital information about how your tenants will be impacted by bad smells:

No one wants to live near a trash heap of fish heads and eggshells. Trash stinks, so you’ll have to be careful about where you locate trash and recycling facilities. Here’s the building with an overlay in red showing the impact and extent of the smelliness generated by the trash. While the elevators don’t care so much, the people to the right might be a little upset by the constant odor of everyone’s garbage next door.

Which all sounds like exactly the kind of thing I want. There’s no release date, videos or GIFs yet – or maybe even an official name – but if it simulates people as much as it simulates their environment then I’ll be a pig in the city.


  1. Sir Frederick says:

    Oh, man, I have been hanging out for a new SimTower kind of game. Someone made a promising start on an indie Android title, but then never finished it.

  2. Cooper says:

    I’d highly recommend YootTower over SimTower. It’s basically SimTower v1.5 by Yoot Saito (the designer of Sim Tower).

  3. dsch says:

    Oh my, this sounds great. SimTower was the first game I ever played on my dad’s new 133Hz Pentium with 16MB of RAM. It came on two floppy disks, borrowed from a kid who lived around the corner. I’d leave it running while my dad did work and come back to find myself rolling in cash (either that or half the building had burned down).

    I hope it will have something like the focus on elevator scheduling of the original.

  4. Hobbes says:

    A new SimTower? Be still my beating heart, how I have missed you…

  5. Herzog says:

    Nice. SimTower was fun back in the day. Now someone needs to remake SimLife, SimEarth and SimIsle.

    Suddenly I feel sad that Maxis is no more.

    • melnificent says:

      Be glad they aren’t. Modern Maxis would have SimLife as a petting zoo, SimEarth as a literal mound of earth and SimIsle would be a smaller mound of earth in a bucket of water.

      • Captain Narol says:

        I really really really crave for a new SimLife !!!

        Let’s hope some devs hear that call, as I am probably not the only one…

  6. Saarlaender39 says:

    Graham: “Good news! The makers of gold prospecting town sim 1849 are now working on their second game, and it’s called Project Highrise. There’s little information so far, but there’s enough to make me excited.”

    Ah yes…1849…isn’t that the game, that got rather mediocre reviews?
    It’s maybe a little early to feel excited about this.

  7. harley9699 says:

    Looks great to me.

  8. mactenchi says:

    Mega Mall Story on iOS/Android is a pretty good SimTower-alike.

  9. DelrueOfDetroit says:

    I used to play SimTower on our school’s computers back on the day. (Along with Ceaser II, The Incredible Machine and Cross Country Canada.) I don’t think I ever fully understood how all of the systems worked but I do remember it being buggy. People would complain about a medical office not being close enough when there is one right next to them. Nobody staying in your building but as soon as there is a bomb threat you suddenly have rooms filled with people who refuse to leave their homes. What a cockteaese this game was too! Having a bomb threat that never goes off.

    Other than that good times! I will be keeping an eye on this game. I really like the idea of artwork being the bonus items.

  10. celticdr says:

    SimTower is an old favourite, I will def check this game out when it gets released, hopefully it can overcome that crunch that seemed to happen in SimTower when I ran out of cash and couldn’t build any further.

  11. lordfrikk says:

    Hopefully without microtranscations and waiting for every action like in Fallout Shelter and countless others.