Buildings Have Feelings Too!
Developer: Blackstaff Games
Publisher: Merge Games
Genre: Simulation, Puzzle, Strategy
Platform: Nintendo Switch (Also available on PC, Xbox and PlayStation)
Age Rating: PEGI 3
Release Date: 22/04/2021
A code was provided for review purposes.
Buildings Have Feelings and Don’t I Know It
Now and again, not too often mind, I do like a bit of a sim style management game. It has been a while since I had played one so thought I would have a bash at Buildings Have Feelings Too!. I did not know a lot about it before playing but I did love the presentation and art style I saw in the trailer. It looked very different from other games of this style. Little did I know, this was not your stereotypical management game.
In Buildings Have Feelings Too!, you control a building. I know, it’s weird but strangely it’s the part of the game I enjoyed most. Building sim aside, watching your cuboid bounce down the street with his features oscillating as he bobbed along always made me smile. All the characters, or buildings as they are in this game, are animated well and full of charming character.
Presentation Far Outweighs the Gameplay
The presentation and how different this game is from other games of this ilk is what kept me playing the game. It’s bright, beautifully realised and so, so unique. I cannot think of another game like it, I truly can’t. In a world of remakes, copies and clones a truly unusual game like this should be applauded, even if its actual content is a bit dull.
Unfortunately, the game’s great presentation and amazingly unique qualities are where my love for Building Have Feelings Too! grinds to a halt. While it is certainly not a poor game I found the core gameplay loop and the management side of things felt a bit flat. The game is less of a management game and more ‘let’s make all the buildings happy so they get along’ style of game and I just did not find it that enjoyable, which is a damn shame.
A Chain of Needy Buildings
The core gameplay loop goes as follows. You will get a mission like say, ‘create a three-star pub’, which may sound quite interesting, but it is rather drab when you get down to it. You create a pub and then must tend to its needs by surrounding it with the buildings it wants. Each building has needs and each one produces items to fulfil these needs. Needy buildings, what’s next?
These buildings can be upgraded too, each level needing more complex items to make them happy but in return, they pump out more complex items to please other buildings. This means your two-dimensional streets of buildings becomes a line of needy whining piles of bricks that all rely on each other. This also leads to one of my other peeves with the game, there is no reset or undo feature. Due to each building in the line being so pivotal in affecting other building’s needs and feelings, a single mistake can be fatal. One incorrectly moved building and it all falls down, like a tower of cards.
More of a Puzzler Than A Management Sim
Building Have Feelings Too! becomes less of a city management game at this point and more like a brick and mortar-based puzzle game. I should have got that from the name of the game to be fair, so that one is on me. Like I said, while I found the game unique, funny and interesting from a visual standpoint. What you do in the game is just stick the right buildings next to each other, over and over. Yes, there are a few nuances and little quirks but I feel the actual meat of the game never lives up to its beautiful presentation and unique subject matter.
Thinking about it now, I think if you approach the game as a puzzle game, it makes more sense. Each level is a puzzle, a puzzle that needs solving by moving buildings around and making them happy. As I mentioned above, I wish it had a simple restart button or an undo button as, especially early on, I made a lot of mistakes and could not simply just restart. I had to watch my street turn to dust or restart the game. It was a little weird.
A Bit Slow and Drab
I don’t want you to think that the game is bad, it is certainly not, I just wished there was a bit more to it and it had a bit more variety. The presentation certainly deserves it. The game also suffers from long load times and a few framerate issues. I initially thought the game had crashed when it first loaded, it seemed to take an absolute age to get going.
In summary, I think Buildings Have Feelings Too! is a beautiful, unique and quirky game. If you think of it as a puzzle rather than a city management game, you will probably get more mileage out of it. Its art style is so different and so beautiful and it is full of witty dialogue and funny characters. I wish the gameplay lived up to the same uniqueness and quality that the presentation did but that may be of my doing, I think I may have expected too much. Perhaps I even expected something that was never there.
I do think people should still play Buildings Have Feelings Too! though, even if it is just to see how unique and different it is from other games. Hey, you may even enjoy it much more than I did. It is not incredibly expensive, maybe wait for a sale though if you are on the fence about it. Buildings with feelings? Who thinks of this stuff?
Rapid Reviews Rating
If you would like to buy Building Have Feelings Too! from the Nintendo eShop, you can here.
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