Buildings Have Feelings Too
Publisher: Merge Games
Release date: 22nd April 2021
Approximate size: 3.1 GB
Age Rating: PEGI 3
Reviewed on: Xbox Series X
Screenshots: Xbox Series X / Merge Games
Buildings Have Feelings Too is a city management game with a difference, rather than the usual top-down view, zooming out to an entire district of your city, you’re instead down on street level with a single road in front of you.
Rather than placing entire blocks of buildings, you’ll be responsible for a single building at a time, allocating its business in life while trying to cater to its personal needs.
Across each street, you’ll have a limited number of spaces available, placing buildings is pretty straight forward and these will each take up a pre-allocated number of spaces, some small, some large, but each is capable of housing certain businesses such as turning that town-house into rented rooms or a warehouse into grocers or a pub.
Each business has an effect on other buildings around it and will require certain criteria such as nearby locals or other businesses creating certain produce before it can be upgraded, these upgrades reward increased influence on the surrounding area and the all-important bricks which are used for progression.
When you start off, you’ll initially just be placing buildings and allocating the required businesses to complete a few objectives but as your high street starts to populate, you’ll have to start moving buildings around or even changing their business to better suit the surrounding areas.
AS each location starts to stretch across into multiple areas you’ll be tracking back and forth to switch buildings, upgrade them and slowly obtain the required objectives before moving on to other locations. There are 9 areas in total, starting off with the high street and working through various locations in the city centre as well as the docks and rural suburbs.
There are multiple businesses you’ll unlock and it won’t be long before your pub is joined by cafe’s and pie shops as you start to expand your entertainment establishments.
In total, you’ll unlock over 20 business variations, and while some are similar, you’ll need to meet fresh requirements to upgrade them, which can often lead to a puzzling juggle of buildings to make the most of your required spaces.
Graphically, Buildings Have Feelings Too is pretty good, there’s not much in the way of special effects and extensive detail, but the little legs and flickering window eyes all help to add personality to the buildings. One negative is that certain businesses aren’t always clearly labelled, so you’ll often be holding your trigger buttons to locate a certain building rather than being able to spot it at distance.
All conversations are pop-up text boxes, which are a missed opportunity as the endless reading slows the game down a little more than necessary, I feel voice-acted buildings with their own distinct accents and dialects would have gone a long way to injecting more personality and character into individual buildings.
Without voice-acting, and little in the way of special effects, the sound is mostly limited to the background music, which is perky and quirky enough but it’s also terribly repetitive and it won’t take long on the pause screen before you’re reaching for the volume button.
The Control scheme of Buildings Have Feelings Too is mostly adequate, but can be troublesome at times, especially when moving buildings around, which is often all too necessary, but due to the inaccuracy of walking back and forth to select a specific spot, you’ll be endlessly switching between the left thumbstick to move back and forth, as well as the directional pad to try and home in on that small space between lots.
Otherwise, the controls are fairly evenly spread across the controller, and while it’s not always easy to remember which trigger does what, the commands for conversations with other buildings, upgrades and obtaining more detailed information are all clearly marked on the screen.
Overall “Buildings Have Feelings Too” is a fun and quirky experience which takes some of the seriousness out of city management while still offering in-depth and puzzling gameplay.
Representing pretty good value at £14.99, it’s a unique perspective on the genre and a few control issues aside, it’s unique style it’s a game that’s certainly different enough from titles like Cities Skylines to please fans of city management titles.