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Have You Played... Project Highrise?

Towering above the rest

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Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.

If you’ve ever played XCOM and wished you could spend more time building your antfarm base and less time watching your operatives die, Project Highrise [official site] might be the game for you.

I love building things in games. Not so much in real life, where constructing a bookshelf can take up my entire weekend given how cack-handed I am, but give me a game that lets me build cities or kingdoms or spaceships, and I’ll usually have a blast. It’s not so much the actual construction, in terms of sticking pieces together in a Nuts and Bolts style, it’s more the management of a constructed thing. The machinery of Factorio makes me happy and the cities of Skylines are happy places for me.

When it comes to construction, the more familiar a thing is, the more likely I am to enjoy it. I suspect that’s true for many people, and goes some way to explaining the popularity of Car Mechanic Simulator. Sure, you’re not actually building the cars, but you’re de- and reconstructing, and fiddling with things you might recognise form the real world. There’s comfort in that, and satisfaction.

I find Project Highrise similarly satisfying. I’ve lived in apartment blocks, I’ve stayed in many hotels, and I’ve worked in high-rise office buildings. Highrise lets me build and manage all of those things, and there’s a joy in making everything tick over just right, and in observing the finely tuned machine that is your new tower.

It’s the new SimTower I wanted for so long and while it hasn’t occupied my attention in the same way that Skylines has since release, Highrise is a splendid thing.

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Adam Smith

former Deputy Editor

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