I used to never been one for management games. I found that they were always tediously dry, with menus upon menus of information I found impossible to digest. But as I have gotten older, and my patience has aged like a fine wine, I’ve found myself drawn to management games. There’s something enthralling about the complexity of it all, of micro-managing every little detail. Buildings Have Feelings Too! neither fits my adolescent disliking of management games nor does it meet my current desire for complexity. Instead, it teeters on being simple yet ironically complex nonetheless.
“Where Buildings Have Feelings Too! gets complicated is in the management of space.”
Buildings Have Feelings Too! is all about managing your city, only this time there are no people. While silhouettes of dancing residents can be seen in the foreground, the main focus of the game is tending to your buildings every need. Hence the title. This is done by meeting certain specifications. For example, in order to upgrade a residential building, you may need two food resources. This resource is produced by the grocers building. So, you have to construct two grocers nearby in order for the residential building to net their food resource. Once upgraded, a building will add a higher score to your overall city rating. It goes without saying that the higher the score, the better.
Where Buildings Have Feelings Too! gets complicated is in the management of space. In each area, you’re allocated a certain amount of building types and must use them and the allotted space to upgrade your various buildings. Different building types can only make certain businesses, and different building types take up a different amount of space. So, it basically becomes a bit of a puzzle game. You essentially need to figure out how best to utilise the space at your disposal, all while ensuring that you create the correct buildings.
“Despite their quirky personality and the ironic title of the game, I didn’t really care about the feelings of my buildings at all.
Unfortunately, this is where Buildings Have Feelings Too! started to lose me. While it is fun, at least initially, trying to figure out how best to arrange your city, it gets overly complicated fast. It’s not that the core mechanics are complex. In fact, they are relatively simple. Instead, the issue is that Buildings Have Feelings Too! very rapidly descends into a loop of creating buildings for a particular purpose, only to tear them down and replace them shortly after. It loses all personality very quickly and makes it hard to be attached to any of the buildings in your city. Despite their quirky personality, and the ironic title of the game, I didn’t really care about the feelings of my buildings at all. In fact, all I really cared about was completing each puzzle.
The complexity in Buildings Have Feelings Too! comes in the, at times, obtuse puzzles and the gameplay elements that further hinder them. For example, to demolish a building, you first have to remove its business. This, of course, incurs a charge. But to put a new one up, you must pay another charge. As money is extremely finite, and the only way of getting more is by upgrading buildings or completing missions. I got to the point where I didn’t have any money left, but I still needed to build more buildings to upgrade the ones I already had.
On top of that, certain buildings aren’t moveable. This means they take up that prime real estate you need in order to fit in your new pub or factory. It’s not that the micromanagement of each building is inherently difficult. It just becomes frustrating having to try and rearrange, dismantle and recreate them.
“Ultimately, this is a game made with a lot of passion, but that ultimately falls flat.”
This is made even more difficult by the jank and bugs ever-present within. While I’m sure a day one patch will rectify some of these issues, they were hugely detrimental to my experience when reviewing. For example, trying to move a building to a new slot is arduously difficult. The marker will never line up with the space you want to go on, and for whatever reason, I couldn’t just use my mouse to select a specific space. Trying to select anything in Buildings Have Feelings Too! can be extremely tedious, and flicking between various menus proved to be a chore too.
On top of that, I found there to be numerous visual bugs. These ranged from icons remaining in place despite having left the menus associated with them to the red circle of death that indicates a business is going into disrepair remaining in the sky. It is a shame as Buildings Have Feelings Too! is a stunning game. There are tons of wonderfully quirky animations given to the buildings, such as blinds opening and closing to replicate blinking. The backdrops and general artwork on the various cityscapes and buildings look incredible, making for an exceptionally aesthetically pleasing game.
Buildings Have Feelings Too! is a game made with a lot of passion but ultimately falls flat. For me, there were simply too many contradicting mechanics and too many technical and mechanical issues that I couldn’t really get into it. Its simple and approachable gameplay loops seem inviting at first. But too many things over-complicate them to the point that they feel more burdensomely complicated than more advanced city management games.
*Disclaimer: Reviewed on PC. The publisher provided the code.