Project Highrise going to Las Vegas in first expansion

Having grown up with Judge Dredd and 2000 AD, I’m fascinated by games about building unreal skyscrapers crammed with apartments, offices, shops, restaurants, galleries, and the other bits of a city all under one roof. I think the developers intend them to be utopian but I always imagining unbreathable air forcing humanity into towers, and hidden basements with Resyk facilities chipping corpses for food.

None of that will be revealed in the first expansion for Project Highrise [official site], the newly-announced ‘Las Vegas’. As you might guess, it’ll razzle-dazzle with casinos, hotels, clubs, celebrities, and all that.

Publishers Kasedo Games announced the expansion this week, explaining:

“Along with the main game’s offices, restaurants and retail stores, Project Highrise: Las Vegas brings a whole new array of units to allow you to compete with your city rivals. Attract tourists, and their money, to your skyscraper with all new Vegas style casinos and nightclubs. All these visitors will need somewhere to stay and where better than one of your very own hotel suites, complete with room service and cleaners. For entertainment, and for a fee, invite the stars to perform as you host the biggest and best shows in town which will be sure to bring in the crowds.

“Show that you can stand the heat of the desert with new location challenges and scenarios. Place all important air conditioning units, hoping they don’t fail and ensure all your hotel and event staff can get around with new special service elevators. Brand new NPCs and animations complete the Vegas feel.”

Megasinos in the post-apocalyptic desert?

The Las Vegas expansion is due in March. No word on a price yet.

If you’ve not played Project Highrise and have fond memories of simulating towers back in the day, do be aware this isn’t quite what it might seem. As Alec said in his review:

“I know the words ‘Sim Tower’ are flickering hungrily across the hind brains of readers Of A Certain Age, but I should say off the bat that Highrise has the mentality of an idle or clicker game as much as it does a sim.”

If you’re interested in the full infrastructure and ecosystems of simulated towers, you might be fancy a look at Block’hood, a build-o-manager where there’s a real challenge in creating sustainable communities. You get to build some pretty neat-looking futuristic towers too.


  1. Beefenstein says:

    Dear God this simulator is boring. That’s because it simulates putting things down in the order it specifies: it’s like a set of alphabet blocks for adults… but you can’t even spell out ‘poo’ with it.

    • dsch says:

      Yeah, I had high hopes for this one. They gutted the elevator management from SimTower (which, if I recall correctly, was originally made to simulate elevator traffic) and now there’s really no game there any more.

    • ulix says:

      I have to reluctantly agree that it’s boring. It is fun, for 10 or 20 hours, until you’ve built everything, but there’s no real challenge.

      Not like in Prison Architect, where I can plan out one prison for 20 hours, before even letting any prisoners in. And after that spend dozens of hours optimizing the thing.

    • AngoraFish says:

      I picked up Project Highrise in last month’s Humble Monthly and binged on it last night. A bit over three hours in I’m getting that impression. Everything has a strictly defined sequence that reminds me a bit of an Anno production queue – to get lawyers to move in, make sure there are at least two restaurants that serve dinner, a photocopy center and a blah blah blah. Rinse and repeat.

      Very little about these systems is in any way organic in the way that, for example, Sim City residents and businesses move in and out depending on how well you are doing.

      I’m struggling to see what additional value Las Vegas is going to add other than as a quick graphical reskin. Perhaps if the devs included the possibility that your best tenants go bankrupt because their bookkeeper gets hooked on poker machines and blows the company’s profits? Or perhaps, your building attracts more Mob accountants and drug dealers in order to rinse all their dirty money through your roulette tables?

      Nah, who am I kidding? It’ll just be “build three baccarat tables in order to be able to install a high roller room. High rollers require expensive drinks, build a cocktail bar or your high roller patrons will leave. etc. etc.”.

      • Beefenstein says:

        “I’m struggling to see what additional value Las Vegas is going to add other than as a quick graphical reskin…”

        Sales for the developer ;)

        • AngoraFish says:

          Ah yes, but of course enough people need to buy it to justify the expense of putting the whole thing together in the first place.

  2. poliovaccine says:

    Every time I see this game being written about, I can count on also seeing memories of SimTower, followed by disappointment in comparison, followed by my own nostalgia guiding me to Yoot Tower, even if I no longer have the original SimTower game, just to see those classic navy-blue silhouette people whose happiness I once valued so much. Those little blue people are what it’s all about. The nostalgia kick only lasts for about 30 seconds, but I’m sure the savegame appreciates being opened up at all.

  3. skyturnedred says:

    After reading Las Vegas Expansion I thought I was accidentally browsing a hockey news site.

  4. aircool says:

    Does anyone ever wonder how Judge Dredd’s bike went around corners with those big, square tyres?