We have had many opportunities lately to review a lot of great and wonderful games. We recently received Highrisers, which is described on their kickstarter page as “a pixel-styled 2D build-and-explore urban survival-RPG.” Sign me up!
Now the game that I played is only a demo, so there were a lot of things still missing from the game. But it was easy to play and I understood the general idea. It has quite a bit of potential, in my opinion, and I can’t wait to check it out once it comes up on Steam.
About the Game
After a month of mysterious happenings going on around the world, the Earth’s population has pretty much disappeared. Most of the human population has turned into what are called “dreamers”, these dark, swirly, zombie looking creatures. These dreamers roam the cities and skyscrapers that once were teeming with life. Your goal is to escape these now haunted metal jungles.
You will play as four survivors, who each have a particular set of skills that will help you to escape these buildings. In the demo, you are stranded on a skyscraper that has a partially built helicopter on the roof. Your goal is to move throughout the building and gather enough supplies to not only survive to the next day, but to eventually rebuild the helicopter and make it off the skyscraper.
But watch out! Day quickly turns into night, which causes the dreamers to become more active and be more adventurous. As they begin roaming around the building. They will attack your survivors, so you must equip your team with weapons, food, medicine, and materials to build walls and protection.
As I stated above, you will have control over four different characters, each one having special skills that will help with certain tasks.
Ike: a military pilot, has specialties in mechanics, military training, and aeronautics.
Jes: a young hacker has specialties in electronics, urban guerrilla, and scavenging.
Mo: a native american tough guy, has specialties in construction work, tribal ways, and physical strength.
Ann: the knowledgeable scientist, had specialties in chemistry, medicine, and process engineering.
You are in control of these four survivors at all times, sending them up and down and all around the skyscraper to gather resources, build walls, and construct tools and weapons. The goal of the game is to find all the pieces for your broken-down helicopter. Once that is fixed, you will be able to escape off the skyscraper.
Literally everything can be torn, broken, moved, reused, etc. And everything is important, if you are creative enough! Paper, cardboard, screws, light bulbs, cement, brick, engines, so on and so forth! Everything! Pick it up and use it! The possibilities are endless as to what you can do with whatever scrap you find lying around.
This will allow for your survivors to create wonderful new weapons and strong defenses. Finding all kinds of resources throughout the building and using those materials to create melee weapons and firearms, tools and medicine will greatly increase the chances of survival!
There is a lot of potential for leveling up and requiring new sets of skills. Research plays a huge part in helping the survivors… uh, well, survive. Research will allow the survivors to make more complicated items. But chose wisely, because you won’t be able to do everything. You will have to chose between what types of research, and hopefully the combination you chose will help you win the game.
This is critical for the game. Solo, none of the survivors would be able to make it. But together, they can gather their resources, knowledge, and skills to overcome any obstacle. Make sure you use each survivor’s skills in the best way possible.
What I Liked
I love the potential for this game. I unfortunately only played the demo, which I felt was lacking. But the idea of this game seems really simple and fun! It can be rather intense sending out your survivors and trying to keep track of what everyone is doing, all while keeping an eye on the amount of daylight you have left. The stress of night and trying to get behind a barrier and avoid the dreamers can be pretty fun.
Another great aspect of the game is the creativity and the freedom you have with building and leveling up your characters as well as grabbing everything you can find to build and create items and tools to help you win the game. Unfortunately, I missed out on a lot of the customizing for characters because the demo did not include everything the game has to offer.
What Can Be Improved
Now, as I stated before, this was only a demo version of Highrisers. So I wasn’t able to play it at it’s full potential. There was a lot of material that was not in the demo version, such as:
-interactive weather system.
-additional weapons, equipment, and machinery.
-a large skill tree for each individual survivor.
-different settings and buildings.
All that being said, overall, Highrisers was a really difficult game to play. Like really difficult. And maybe that has to do with it only being a demo, but I didn’t really last longer than a couple nights. It felt like a lot of the time I was missing something, like I wasn’t using my survivors in the best, most efficient way. The days seemed way too short and the nights seemed too long. I feel that in order to really get a grasp of the characters, gameplay, and building varieties, you really need to play this game a few times in order to get a feel for it.
Overall, I love the potential for this game! I really feel that the full version of this game will be awesome, and the components that I felt needed to be changed or added will be in the full version. It is definitely a fast paced, strategy type game where you really have to be aware of what you are doing and where you are going at all times. When Highrisers comes out on Steam, I would definitely check it out!
Check out our other game reviews here. Let us know what you think of Highrisers and if there are any new and upcoming games you’re excited about! If you are an indie game developer, let us be one of the first to play and review your game! We would love the opportunity!
Peace and Love, nerds
Matt “Donoran” Fuhrmann