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