TouchArcade Game of the Week: ‘High Rise – A Puzzle Cityscape’

The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn’t necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable “best” thing. Instead, it’s more just us picking out the single game out of the week’s releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one.
These picks might be controversial, and that’s OK. If you disagree with what we’ve chosen, let’s try to use the comments of these articles to have conversations about what game is your game of the week and why.
Without further ado…
 
High Rise – A Puzzle Cityscape
Some of the very best games on mobile straddle the fine line between being understandable from just a brief glance but complex enough to always have something more to master. One of the prime examples of this would be Threes!, a game that’s simply about combining numbers but one that feels like it can never get old. That was also the game that immediately jumped into my mind when I played High Rise – A Puzzle Cityscape (Free) from developer Florian Grolig of smpl games, a 3D matching and merging game that is deceptively simple on the surface but is much more than it appears.


Thursday January 01, 1970

For being such a simple game, High Rise is actually sort of tricky to explain. You have a 5×5 grid and each square on the grid is where you can place a block of varying colors. Through a handful of different rules the blocks that you place that are of matching color and sizes to the blocks on the board can then merge together, forming a taller block. As this goes on the blocks get even taller and turn into more elaborate skyscrapers, and by the end of a game you have built a tiny little city filled with buildings.
The building aesthetic is cute, but its the gameplay in High Rise that is the star of the show. I won’t go through every single rule around how blocks can be matched and merged, but the game’s tutorial does a fantastic job at introducing you to all you need to know to get started, and then you’ll learn a great deal just by playing games yourself. Like Threes!, there is all sorts of potential in High Rise to pull off some incredibly elaborate combos and also get yourself out of what seemed like unwinnable situations, and I can’t overstate just how satisfying that is.


Thursday January 01, 1970

High Rise plays in portrait mode, and you can swipe and tilt your city around with your thumb to get the best view and see where blocks are able to be placed. It’s the type of game that’s somehow just fun to manipulate as you check out your growing city from different angles. It’s also the perfect game to bust out to kill a minute or two, or really sit down with and spend some serious time on. I just love it to pieces, as do the players in our forums. High Rise – A Puzzle Cityscape is free with ads with a simple one-time ad-removal IAP for 99¢, which is a downright criminally cheap asking price, so there’s no excuse not to check it out for yourself right this minute.


Thursday January 01, 1970