Highrisersby Aethyna Jul 20, 2021 | 1 Votes | 79 Played | 0 Reviews 8 rate Highrisers is an “escape from the tower”-style survival-slash-resource management game that’s fairly similar to the first Skyhill game, except that instead of traveling to the lobby, your goal here is to scavenge the resources you need from the lower floors to fix the helicopter on the rooftop so your team of 4 survivors can escape. Play Now Similar Games Played
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Highrisers is an “escape from the tower”-style survival-slash-resource management game that’s fairly similar to the first Skyhill game, except that instead of traveling to the lobby, your end goal here is to scavenge the resources you need from the lower floors to fix the helicopter on the rooftop so your team of 4 survivors (if none of them died, that is) can escape the tower. It’s basically a quarter of the plot of Zack Synder’s most recent and relatively-controversial zombie flick, Army of the Dead, really… and like the film, the game is fun but it has its own caveats.
And of course, there are the zombies… ahem… I mean, mutants that will attack your team and any fortifications you’ve put up if they spot you… so there’s that.
In this game, you get to control a diverse team of characters, namely Jes, Ike, Ann and Mo, who are experts in their respective fields.
Trapped at the top floor of a high-rise building with a helicopter that needs repairs, your team will need to scavenge for the materials you need to craft the many replacement parts that will finally get the helicopter going.
Highrisers has the sort of gameplay that might not be suited for everybody, namely if you have a strong dislike of micromanagement and clicking. The game’s whole premise is for you to take control of each of the characters in your team individually and get them to scavenge and loot various items so as to survive. So, expect lots of clicking on your part.
Besides scavenging resources, the game puts a lot of emphasis on inventory management too. But unfortunately, this aspect of the game leaves much to be desired. You can store items on shelves for example, but there’s no central way for you to know what items are on which shelves. This makes it tedious to know exactly if you have the materials you need to craft an item.
There’s no way for you to build new shelves either it seems, so you will still have to dump quite a lot of the stuff you scavenge on the ground. For a game that centers around resource and, by an extent, inventory management, this is just poor design. It would definitely be a lot better if there’s a way to build new shelves and label them accordingly much like the chests you can craft in Minecraft.
Inventory management between characters’ inventory is also quite challenging. Multiple characters may have the same items in their inventory and you’ll have to manually move the items across inventories in order to stack them up.
There is crafting involved in this game as well. Although you start off with limited crafting designs, you can unlock more as your characters level-up and as you unlock the necessary skills on their respective skill trees. You can even expand their inventory slots via the corresponding skills on the skill tree.
Now, the ultimate goal of every playthrough is for your survivors to fix the helicopter on the rooftop using the materials you’ve scavenged and/or crafted, and escape the high-rise. Whether all 4 survivors make it or not… well, that’s another issue.
You see, the high-rise is infested with zombie-like mutants that usually come out at night. As more days passes, more and more of them will appear and some may even decide to stick around during the day, making it increasingly difficult to get to the lower levels where there might be stuff that you may have not scavenged yet.
Survival isn’t just avoiding getting killed by mutants; you’ll need to feed your survivors too. A quick tip for you – try gathering as much food and medicine as you can. Some resources are easy to find but these can be harder to get. In fact, in my second playthrough, I only failed to fix the helicopter just because I couldn’t find the required aluminum foils. It’s frustrating to say the least!
The game is also pretty much endless since the whole premise of the game is for your band of survivors to “hop” between high-rise buildings using the helicopter – apparently, the helicopter can only function long enough for you to get from one building to another. Depending on the high-rise you land on, the design or layout of the buildings will be different.
To be frank, I’ve actually played the demo during Steam’s Game Festival back in Febuary of this year and that I’ve been avidly following the development of this game, participated in a couple of bug reports even!
However, the game seems to still have several issues and problematic gameplay designs that I’ve noticed during my demo run. The game isn’t in early access either so this is literally the full-release, and I’ve got to say… it is a somewhat disappointing release.
For one, as I’ve pointed out earlier, the storage issue is still there. The dev told me that they plan on adding buildable shelves that the player can then use to store stuff, but it seems like the shelves aren’t enough either and you ended up just dumping the stuff you collect on the ground. This makes it tedious to know exactly if you have the materials you need to craft an item. You just have to check your messy floor for the item.
I’ve also brought up the issue of micromanaging the team members with the dev team and suggested a way to queue up a few actions just so you aren’t just clicking on stuff endlessly. Couple that with the “wait time” for performing certain actions and the multiple runs back to the top floor to dump resources into inventory boxes, well, I think that should be a much better design for the game.
Of course, there are also the game-breaking bugs that I’ve so far been fortunate to not encounter, but this is not the case for many other players, as seen via the game’s reviews.
The game is truly at best an “early” early access title, and if you keep that in mind going in, you probably won’t be disappointed.
Highrisers is a single-player game so there aren’t any multiplayer options. That beign said, if you fancy connecting with your fellow players, you can always drop by the game’s discussion forum on Steam.
Highrisers features amazing pixel art that’s not exactly 2D – more isometric than 2D. However, if there’s one complaint, it would probably be that some items can be very small and hard to see. I’m a fan of hidden object games though, so I don’t really mind, but I can see it being an issue for other players who might have poorer eyesight. The soundtrack here is pretty good. It’s catchy and it sets the atmosphere of the game well enough.
For what it’s worth, I really liked resource management-based survival games like Highrisers and I have had a pretty good experience with the game myself, minus all the issues I’ve pointed out. The game definitely has some good stuff going for it, but the dev team really needs to work on the game more to revamp some of the gameplay designs and also to fix the game-breaking bugs reported by their players. Only then I would be comfortable recommending the game. For now though, it’s probably wise to keep it in your wishlist.