In Project Highrise, you are in charge of managing your skyscraper. A tutorial is present and will properly explain the basics of the game. Then there are 2 solutions available to you: game mode or scenario mode. Little difference between the two, you define the goal yourself in the first while you will have objectives and constraints in the second.
We start slowly by building a few rooms and discovering the needs of the tenants. At first, it seems simple, they are content to need electricity, a copy service or an important transit point. I am multiplying the pieces and signing a few contracts with the town hall in order to have a green budget without too much difficulty.
I move forward in the size and quality of the rooms and I quickly realize that it is no less complicated and that you have to plan the layout of the building in advance. Once this was done, I restarted my game twice. The first time because you cannot replace the staircase with an elevator, unless you have a second staircase. The second time because of the tenants' requirement in more advanced rooms, impossible for example to put an average office above a restaurant, the smells end up making it go away.
Advancement in the game is through fame. It increases with the number of tenants, the decoration and some special contracts. From a certain number of fame points, new coins are unlocked. Once I manage to plan the layout of the skyscraper in advance, the project grows and grows day by day.
To help us manage our skyscraper, there are a whole bunch of options available through the interface. The layers will allow us, for example, to spot a dissatisfied tenant or the ideal place of passage for a business.
In conclusion, it is a simple but addictive game, with clean graphics very typical of the 70s, it augurs hours of play without the fuss (once past the first hours of play and learning the prerequisites). On the other hand, we regret some constraints such as not being able to move a tenant or the impossibility of changing a staircase into an elevator.
Also check out the preview at Gamescom by Talish
The game is available on Steam: