Imagine suddenly being stuck in a collapsing skyscraper building, and the only way to get your characters down safely to the ground floor is by matching up random letters to form words before they die?
That just happens to be the premise of the single-player game Highrise Heroes: Word Challenge on the Nintendo Switch.
A new worker in the building named Seb and a bunch of quirky characters are the stars of this show. According to Nintendo.com, “Together they might just unravel the sinister origins of the ‘quake, assuming they can evade the mysterious stalker in close pursuit.”
The game starts off in dramatic fashion with crashing effects and flickering lights that provide the player with a feeling that they are in the middle of an earthquake that has destroyed the building. Your characters can die if you do not complete enough words to bring them to the bottom of a level in so many moves, or if you take so much time that they run out of oxygen. Forming words using blue tiles (which represent oxygen) can help get your characters to safety faster.
Highrise Heroes turns out to be addictively fun and a tough brain challenge at the same time. It is an adventure puzzle game, matching letters to create words on a grid system. Letters can be formed into words in various ways such as diagonally as well as across. The game will also highlight letters to give players clues when they get stuck. In addition, a random vowel can be placed where you choose to help form a word. Each character also has a special ability that can be used to help complete your mission quicker, although using an ability can consume a couple of your moves. The game keeps also careful tabs on your progress, such as congratulating you when you create an especially long word.
Highrise Heroes offers a high degree of replay opportunity as you navigate the more than 90 levels comprising the game, including special chimp-themed levels.
Navigating through the screen menus that toggle you through the characters’ various abilities can be a bit cumbersome to figure out until you get the hang of it, but the more you play, the more intuitive it becomes.
Graphics for the game are simple, yet attractively clean, bright and colorful. The anime-styled characters and their often-hilarious statements also add intrigue to Highrise Heroes. Similar to many other puzzle or matching games, when you correctly form a word and move your characters closer to safety, you are rewarded with satisfying sound effects.
A big “thank you” to Developer/Publisher Fallen Tree Games for the review code.
Creating such a clever combination of puzzling, word play and adventure earns the makers of Highrise Heroes: Word Challenge a solid 8 out of 10 score.