Project Highrise is Ready for Building on Consoles

It’s been almost two years since Project Highrise hit PCs and SomaSim’s management title has garnered an incredible amount of acclaim. The SimTower-inspired title has inspired many a fledgling landlord to build towering skyscrapers, fill them with amenities and proceed to garner untold amounts of money to roll back into the building. The title makes the actual nuts and bolts of being a real estate tycoon easy and addictive, offering numerous optional challenges, a scenario mode, and an addictive treadmill of upgrades and technology to exploit. For their two year anniversary, the developer has decided to release the game to a wider audience, with digital and physical versions hitting PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Switch this September. It’ll be worth the wait.

For those not already in the know, Project Highrise is a management sim centered on building up a series of profitable skyscrapers. Via either a scenario mode, or a wide open sandbox mode, players continually work to expand the building and open up office spaces, hotels, shopping districts, malls, and so on. Everything the player does leads to some form of progress, earning either buzz, influence, or straight up cash that can be rolled into new improvements for the edifice or squirreled away to pay off a debt, as needs must. There’s even a quest system given via optional contracts offered by the city. The art style was inspired by 1960’s era skyscraper cutaways to give the game a unique feel, helping lend the game a busy, complicated feeling while allowing an experienced player to understand what’s going on at a glance.

This version isn’t going to be just a re-release of the initial release. All of the expansions are going to be crammed into the package, giving players the full experience out of the gate. It’s not that there was a lack of content in the original edition, but more is more, and having access to the Las Vegas pack, among others, right away is certainly a selling point. This also isn’t a quick, thoughtless port. The developer put plenty of thought into how the controls would work on a gamepad. During the demo, adding offices, laying HVAC lines, and checking on how far the distracting smells a restaurant might be wafting out was a simple matter of some quick button presses. The only complaint players might have is that the Switch version won’t receive touchscreen controls. The developer explained that implementing these on top of the Joycon controls and allowing for seamless swapping between the two would have delayed the Switch version. It seemed wise to take what works and launch it simultaneously.

Of course, one doesn’t need to look far to find out why exactly this game is popular. Project Highrise has a dedicated community that eagerly shares tips and advice with each other, and the developer does look at the message board’s input to find out exactly what they want to see next in the game. During our demo, the words “the community wanted…” came up quite a few times. Basically, if it doesn’t break the game and is feasible, suggestions are given serious consideration. The back and forth between fans and creator has kept the game going strong since before the PC version launched and console gamers are in for a treat this fall.