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GDC 2015 - Project Highrise is an Interesting Idea from SomaSim

Posted by Rob Rich on March 3rd, 2015

You might know SomaSim best from their gold rush sim, 1849. Well, the developer is taking things to new heights (I apologize for nothing) with Project Highrise. It's still in the extremely early stages - as in concept sketches and not much else - but it sounds like it could be quite neat.

Project Highrise is a game about, well, managing a highrise building. You'll be taking care of businesses and residences, balancing your tenants' needs and comfort, and even taking a look at individual characters' feelings on various subjects (a-la games like RollerCoaster Tycoon). If that sounds a lot like SimTower, that's probably because the Maxis classic was a big inspiration.

Of course there's still a long road ahead for Project Highrise's development, and all sorts of stuff could be changed, added, or removed along the way. Still, the idea of it seems very interesting. We'll definitely be keeping you posted as we learn more.

TowerUp! Plus Channels SimTower for iOS

Posted by Blake Grundman on February 22nd, 2011

If you are a relic of times long since past, like myself, you might be familiar with a lesser known PC game by the name of SimTower.  While it was published by Maxis, the same people behind anything that bears the "Sims" moniker, it had a much different lineage than their other releases.  For one, it wasn't developed by Maxis internally, making it very different in game mechanics from other titles in the brand.  For that reason and that reason alone, it was one of my favorite PC games of all time.

There was just something about building, managing, and renovating a skyscraper of your own design that struck a chord with me.  That's why when I had to make the jump to the latest in greatest in operating system technology, I was heartbroken to find that my SimTower, which had followed me since youth, was so old that it wouldn't survive the upgrade process.  It has been a couple of years since that tragic day, when just yesterday I stumbled across a game by the name of TowerUp!

Developed by Uken Games, TowerUp! takes the tower building mechanics of SimTower and marries it with social gaming in a way that could prove to be very interesting. Some of the many features highlighted include:

  • Build hotel rooms and apartments to increase your population

  • Add entertainment rooms to keep people happy.

  • Decorate the outside of your tower.

  • Show off your tower and compete with friends to see who can build the biggest tower!

  • Mute the in game sound and listen to your music while playing.

  • Always FREE to play!


So not only does the game hit on some of the touchstones of my youth, but I can play it for free? Count me in!  However, don't jump in thinking that this is a completely free experience, because while you can play the game at no cost, the quality of your experience can be improved greatly through the purchase of their in-game currency.  This will unfortunately cost you some money, but honestly if it is a quality game, why not give the developer your support?

It has also been brought to my attention that not only does SimTower live on through Tower Up, but there is actually an iPad game from Sim Tower's original developers that has been available on the App Store for quite some time!  So if you are interested in further expanding your vertical empire, by actually PLAYING SimTower on your iPad be sure to download Yoot Tower as well.  You won't regret it.

Give both apps a look and let us know what you think in the comments.

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