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Game Review #107: Project Highrise: Architect's Edition (Nintendo Switch)

Reviewer: Bradford E.

Developer: SomaSim

Publisher: Kalypso Media

Category: Simulation/Strategy

Release Date: 11.13.2018

Price (At time of Review): $39.99 (digitally) | $29.99 (physically)

Buy Project Highrise: Architect's Edition (digitally) from the Nintendo eShop here.

Buy Project Highrise: Architect's Edition (physically) from Amazon here.

Let’s Dive In

You ever just find yourself sitting around wondering how different life could be? Do you ever wish that you had taken a left instead of a right, or gone down instead of up? Well that’s what I love about simulators; you can be anyone, or even build your own world. YOU CAN BE ANYONE, and in Project Highrise: Architect’s Edition, you are a high-rise manager in charge of building a tower block and filling it with all kinds of stuff. You fill it with everything from food stands that can be occupied by Jimmy’s Hot Dogs—not a real name, I’m just still lost in the simulation world—to feed your construction crew lunch, to studio apartments where Stacy lives and complains that the trash doesn’t get taken out enough, to music studios where Skittles lays down his rap skills.

One minute you’re stressing because one of your elevators is down, and then next minute, you’re yelling at Billy because he’s complaining about having nowhere to get breakfast, even though Diane’s Donuts is right next to him. Apparently, even simulated people are picky eaters, and are never satisfied with their options. I legit found myself telling Billy that he couldn’t be a part of my happy little high-rise if he didn’t just eat that dang donut.

Anyways, where was I? Oh yeah! Essentially, you are in charge of trying to keep a whole skyscraper of people happy—if you can make it that far—and I can barely keep my wife and two children happy in real life! Talk about a challenge… or maybe that was just a sad attempt at a joke to try to bring more life to this review about simulation. Maybe that was a Matrix-style joke. That brings me to what else this game is about: strategy and thinking.

Should I? Or should I not?

In a lot of simulators, you basically just do what you want and don’t have to put too much thought into what you do—or maybe I am just playing the wrong ones! Anyway, you start off with a budget, which is basically your lifeline. The first time or two, or three times… that I started a new game, I blew through that money so fast that I found myself not being able to do anything at all. They say that the third time is the charm, and I found that to be true for myself in this game, because it took me about three good tries to get a good hang of the game, and not blow all the money too quick and actually do what you are supposed to do: make money, and keep tenants happy.

The difficulty you start off with will determine how much money you start off with and how fast tenants can get upset, and this really makes you want to make precise decisions—like a real life manager. Can I tell you how excited I was when I started having positive profit days? Now if SomaSim and Kalypso can find a way to transfer all that money into my bank account my routing number is -- no? Fake money you say? I got that lost in the simulation world again? Shucks, it was worth a try. There are two ways to test your strategic thinking: you have basically a Free Play mode (build from scratch), and a Scenario mode with 20+ scenarios to challenge yourself.


I can’t even say enough how basic the controls were. They were spot on with simplicity, and not overwhelming at all. I thought that with all the options the game offered, the buttons would be overwhelming, and that was not the case at all. You use about three buttons most the time to open commands and just click away on what you want. The ease of use was very user friendly. My favorite controls were the speeding-up of time so it didn’t take forever for new areas to be built.


This is where the game really loses my attention. The visuals are so basic that if I didn’t like simulation style games, I would have put the controller down and walked away after giving the game five minutes of my time. But, I am a firm believer of not judging a book by its cover, so in the gaming world I don’t always judge a game based off the graphics. As for the music and the audio of the game, it really fits the theme of the game. The coolest thing about the game was if you use the speed-time-up function, it sounds like Sonic the Hedgehog building up his dash attack. So, when I found myself getting bored here and there waiting for something to finish building, I would just sit there quickly pressing the speed up button to make it sound like Sonic was in the game. But being more of a city game, you hear lots of traffic in the background and city-like noises, so it almost makes you feel like you really are in a noisy city. I just wish the music was a little more upbeat from time to time.

Final Thoughts

If you like simulation games, and always wondered what it would be like to be the manager of a high-rise-style building, this game is for you. This game didn’t completely sell me, however. It’s not because I am not into simulation—because I am, I promise, I am—but because it really didn’t stand out too much compared to a lot of other simulation games. And, although this was not my cup of tea, it wasn’t too bad, and I am sure there are others out there who can enjoy this simple, laid-back building-simulation game.

Score: 7/10

Buy Project Highrise: Architect's Edition (digitally) from the Nintendo eShop here.

Buy Project Highrise: Architect's Edition (physically) from Amazon here.

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*Review Code Provided by Kalypso Media

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