Simtower: The vertical empire

Developed by Yoot Saito, Simtower is a builder’s game based on tower simulation. Simtower has no ending just like other sim games. Simtower: The vertical empire as the name suggests is about building tall and unique skyscrapers. The builder has to take into consideration the residential, commercial and public spaces. The planning needs to entail all the facilities needed for residents and offices to experience a best lifestyle. The end objective is to gain as many stars for the skyscraper and become a 5-star building and accommodate 15000 residents. The game involves extensive designing of the elevators, stairways and other properties. Better the design of the systems, less are the residents stressed. If the stress level of the residents’ increase, the vacancy will increase due to a fall in ratings. The primary focuses of design are the elevators and the stairways. The player needs to build it to minimize the waiting period hence decrease the levels of stress.

Insightful Management Gaming

The game was originally, inspired by the Japanese project to optimize office spaces, elevator usage and other spaces. The player needs to use high-level architecture to make the skyscraper unique and keep the facilities distributed fairly among its residents. The game not only involves architecture but also includes handling finances effectively in the projects as one plays. Once the tower starts getting attention, more projects like restaurants, bars, offices, shops will get unlocked drawing better attention. Ratings can increase and decrease depending on the ways the builder deals with calamities. Hazards like fire, water shortages, sudden VIP visits, etc. keep popping up all along. As the game was developed in Tokyo, the need to build high is always the spotlight. So the skyscraper needs to be as high as possible with penthouses to shopping malls. When one achieves 5-star rating with 15000 residents living happily in it, the spectacular gem house on the top is unlocked. There are so many features in Simtower that it will consume a lot of time and effort to learn and build the tower from scratch. Once the player invests time in this game, there is no stopping as the game encapsulates the reality pretty well. People strolling, shops in business, elevators chiming, and all the work going on gives a sense of ownership to the player. The graphics used in Simtower is decent though the real picture of the building is the imagination of the builder. The player needs to build continuously and keep track of the developments all along. The game is fast paced as there is no respite from tasks.

Shape the World

Launched by OPeNBooK, this simulation game was launched in 3DO, Macintosh, Sega Saturn and Windows 3.0. The display is side-view and animation is 3-D drawing though the rendering is 2-D. Simtower: the vertical empire entails architecture to its core and it is a game to explore one’s imagination. The game could have been far better if the developers used free angle view and used 3-D rendering. Simtower has opened the world to unending possibilities of shaping the world better in a computer screen. The game is educational and recreating at the same time. It introduces a player to management decisions like economical handling, dealing with maintenance issues and planning a scraper town in a subtle yet revealing way. Simtower has many sequels. Though many realistic complex SIM games are available in the market today, Simtower is always the place to start because of its inherent simplicity.