Do you feel lucky? Somasim Games’ Project Highrise is getting its first expansion on Thursday, April 13th, and the developpers have decided to bet it all on red and take the players to the beautiful Las Vegas.
A few months after the launch of this long-awaited successor to the iconic Sim Tower, the small team behind the creation of the game has added another corner stone to what is a well-thought hybrid of imitation and adaptation of that game from the 90’s by including hotel rooms into the mix.
And while this could have been a simple DLC with a handful of new mechanics, the developpers obviously wanted to go above and beyond the standard established by – once again – Sim Tower. And because this comparison with the classic Maxis title will keep coming up, let’s address it once and for all: it’ll be hard, for a long while, for Project Highrise not to be constantly compared to Sim Tower. That’s the consequence of trying to occupy a really niche market in the video game industry. The trick is to get to the equilibrium between fan service and real innovation.
Same goes for the Las Vegas expansion: as the name state, you can indeed build casinos, but the hotel rooms are the main attraction here. And it’s perfectly fine! Contrary to Sim Tower, where you had to unlock the hotel features by gaining fame while building offices, restaurants and other appartments, you can start a new game in Project Highrise and directly go for a sprawling hotel. Your tourism complex will of course start slowly, and probably more slowly that if you had started with offices, for example, but you’ll eventually be able to earn thousands of dollars each day if you know what you’re doing.
With the inclusion of hotel rooms also comes new services and must-haves: you’ll need to place a reception desk for your guests, but also include cleaning services, which’ll need their own elevators. And as it’s the case with the base game, unlocking luxuous properties will only be possible by building pricier services. You’ll even need to maintain the satisfaction of your customers, who will leave evaluations after their stay. After all, who never dreamed of being called « adequatly mediocre »?
With the new services, the new game mechanics (there’s also a new utility), the new randomized events (ever wanted your utilities cabinets to stop working?) and the new event planning system (you can build conference centers and cultural venues, and then invite speakers and artists to perform), building a tower mixing appartments, offices, hotel rooms and shops can quickly become overwhelming. Luckily, there’s no need to include everything at one. Want to build a five star hotel and only that? It’s certainly possible. Want to stick with offices and appartments? It’s also possible. But then, of course, buying the Las Vegas expansion would be pointless.
Since the expansion’s price hasn’t been announced yet, it’s hard to say if Somasim is asking for too much, but Las Vegas is definitely a worthwile experience, especially since it inserts itself so well in the base game. A must-buy for every would-be hotelier!