Game

Review: Buildings Have Feelings Too! Is Charming, Not Fun

Screenshot: Buildings Have Feelings, Too!

Okay, So I’ve been sitting on this game for a couple of weeks now. After playing what looked like a charming game with talking, anthropomorphized buildings, I didn’t think I’ve be giving such a negative review. But I can’t help it: It’s a hard game to like. And it’s not just hard to like in a quirky, acquired taste sort of way. Buildings Have Feelings Too! is an example of how games can get in their own way, despite how great a concept they may have.

Buildings Have Feelings Too! is a building and management game with a 2D perspective. Building and management games are traditionally played from an isometric viewpoint, but Buildings Have Feelings Too! is played from a sidelong, 2D perspective. This isn’t the first game to go from an isometric overhead view to a 2D side-scrolling view, but this is probably one of the least successful examples. While the 2D side-scrolling perspective helps to highlight the whimsical interactions between buildings that walk and talk, it makes the management aspect a little tedious, and the resulting user interface is a little confusing. It’s really too bad, because Buildings Have Feelings Too! has so much going for it.

Screenshot: Buildings Have Feelings, Too!

The first thing you’ll notice about Buildings Have Feelings Too! is its absolutely charming setup: you’re a building with the ability to walk and speak. Your goal is to go around the neighborhood and revitalize it, giving new life to vacant or underutilized properties. To do this, you walk around and talk to buildings, escort them to new locations, and listen to what they need/want. Instead of trying to make the people happy, you’re focused on the needs of the buildings and the neighborhood. And when I say walking, I literally mean that the buildings are literally standing on stickman legs, and even have arms. I wanted to like it so badly, but I quickly got bogged down trying to figure out its systems.

Management and building games live and die by their user interface—how easy it is to navigate menus, and understand the information the game is trying to present.. Buildings Have Feelings Too! suffers from a user interface that is confusing and muddled. The 2D perspective is great for the building interactions, but terrible for getting a quick overview of your neighborhoods. The fact that you have to walk your avatar building to different locations to complete tasks is painfully tedious as well. It doesn’t help that the information that is given to the player is simultaneously overwhelming and badly organized—and therefore confusing as hell.

Screenshot: Buildings Have Feelings, Too!

I’d really like to say that there’s a good game underneath Buildings Have Feelings Too!’s confusing interface. But there’s hurdle after tedious hurdle to overcome to get to the fun: the entire experience feels like a challenge—and wrestling with confusing systems in a game that is brimming with great personality is just not fun.

Buildings Have Feelings Too! is available now on Steam.

 

 

 

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