High Rise is a city-building strategy board game with a bit of corruption from the designer of The Networks, Wordsy, and Bad Medicine. In the game, you and your opponents are constructing skyscrapers in a somewhat reputable city. You'll move around the board on a one-way track, choosing any unoccupied space ahead of you and doing its action, and waiting for everyone to pass you until you take your next action.
Most of the spaces on the board represent Tenants; various corporations and government entities who would love to move into a notable new building. Each Tenant offers a different power for players who land or build on them. The best part is that the game comes with 45 Tenants, of which you'll only use 15-20 (depending on player count), so every game you play will require different strategies and plans depending on which Tenants are on the board.
The game offers three modes of play:
- Introductory mode - An abbreviated 2-round (100-minute) version of the game that lets new players jump right into the game.
- Standard mode - An abbreviated 2-round (100-minute) version of the game that lets experienced players each construct a Building on a Tenant during setup, giving everyone a unique path before the first turn.
- Full mode - The full 3-round (150-minute) version of the game. The extended length of the game allows you to pull off strategies that you can't do in the shorter game. And despite the length, the game remains engaging and riveting throughout.
High Rise is ambitious in both components and gameplay. The game will include over 300 stackable plastic Floors that you'll use to construct your Buildings, plus plastic toppers that you'll use to mark your Buildings. Even the prototype components have drawn a crowd during playtesting!
Heiko Günther, who was responsible for the remarkable look and flow of Formal Ferret's hit game The Networks, will return as graphic designer for High Rise. We're also delighted to welcome star illustrator Kwanchai Moriya to the team to handle images for the cover and board.
High Rise has been in heavy development since April 2017. The gameplay is 99% done, with only a few rules tweaks remaining. Its compelling gameplay sticks in players' brains long after the game ends.
Here is the working, pre-graphic design draft of the rulebook and almanac. We will apply graphic design to these documents over the next few months, but this should give you an idea of how the game plays.
You’ll take your turn by moving your Mogul on the one-way track to any unoccupied space and performing that space’s action. But you’ll only get to move again once everyone else has passed you on the track. So don’t move too far!
Actions will generally let you collect Floors into your Construction Yard, construct Buildings with your collected Floors, or manage your Corruption.
Many actions allow you to take Corruption in order to get a bonus. But the player with the most Corruption at the end of each round gets a penalty, and everyone loses VP at the end of the game based on how much Corruption they’ve accumulated.
When you construct Buildings, you must match one of the 5 Blueprints available that round. If you’re first to construct a particular Blueprint, you get a Premium Floor to add to your Building. This is good, because each Floor in your Building earns you 1 VP!
There is a revolutionary new building material called UltraPlastic (it's the white piece in the prototype). Any UltraPlastic listed in a Blueprint can be filled by any color Floor, and any UltraPlastic Floor can stand in for any color in a Blueprint. But if you match UltraPlastic in a Blueprint with an UltraPlastic Floor, you get a Premium Floor (gray in the prototype) in your Building as a reward!
Tenants on the board will give you a power when you land on them or when you build on them. Some powers are immediate; others can be activated whenever you want. If you land on a Tenant with someone’s building, that player gets to draw a random Floor into their Construction Yard.
A round ends once all players have made one lap around the board and stopped in the Stop Zone. The players with the tallest Buildings in each neighborhood, and the players with the tallest buildings overall on the board get bonus VP.
The Introductory and Standard Game ends after 2 rounds, and the Full Game ends after 3 rounds.
IMPORTANT: The colors shown here are NOT necessarily the final colors you'll get in the game! We are working to make this game accessible to color-blind players.
The following are components that all Kickstarter backers will receive, in addition to the retail game. These will not be exclusives; they will be available at conventions and from the Formal Ferret web store after the game comes out in retail. But backing now will ensure you’ll get them all at once, without having to pay extra shipping fees!
Backing at this pledge level will get you one copy of High Rise, shipped anywhere in the world. See Shipping Rates for more information about extra shipping costs.
(Only 20 slots available in total) Backing at this pledge level will get you one copy of High Rise, shipped anywhere in the world for free. You’ll also get the opportunity to name one of the city streets on the board.
The fine print for the City Planner pledge level: All naming submissions will be reviewed by Formal Ferret. We reserve the right to decline or ask for changes for any name we find inappropriate or cruel, or that overtly advertise a product or service. We will communicate a deadline by the conclusion of the campaign. Please have your submission in before the deadline, or we may not be able to include your suggestion in the game.
(Only 4 slots available in total) Backing at this pledge level will get you one copy of High Rise, shipped anywhere in the world for free. You’ll also get the opportunity to name one of the corporation names that appear on one of the 4 Construction Yards that players will start with.
The fine print for the CEO pledge level: All naming submissions will be reviewed by Formal Ferret. We reserve the right to decline or ask for changes for any name we find inappropriate or cruel, or that overtly advertise a product or service. We will communicate a deadline by the conclusion of the campaign. Please have your submission in before the deadline, or we may not be able to include your suggestion in the game.
If you’re not sure if you want to back High Rise yet, but would like to follow along, you can back the game for $1, or any amount you want! On the right side of the page, under “Support,” look for the box that says “Make a pledge without a reward,” and enter the amount you’d like to back at. This will let you get updates as the campaign progresses, and gives you the chance to upgrade your pledge as the campaign ends. If you don’t update your pledge by the end of the campaign, you’ll still be able to modify your pledge in BackerKit, our third-party pledge manager.
High Rise is going to be a physically heavy game in a relatively large box. Right now, we're estimating a box about the height and width of The Networks, but about 5 inches (12.7 cm) deep. This means I will need to charge shipping costs to avoid unpleasant surprises down the road!
The good news is, even with shipping fees included, it's unlikely you'll be spending more than the retail cost of the game, depending on where you are in the world. And as a Kickstarter backer, you will be getting extra cards and components not included in the retail version of the game.
Nobody likes to pay for shipping, but hopefully this will lessen the sting a bit!
Why are the pledge levels so expensive? Why is the funding goal so high?
High Rise will be my most ambitious project yet. It's my first foray into plastics, so production costs will be much higher than any of my previous games. I would not be able to make a game like this without the generosity of my fans and the Kickstarter community!
Do you offer any retailer pledge levels?
After the Kickstarter campaign ends, we will offer a retailer package as an add-on in BackerKit, our post-campaign pledge manager. This is mainly so that retailers will not have to tie up capital into an expensive Kickstarter pledge level for most of the year. Instead, your card will be charged just before the games arrive at my warehouse later this year, so there will only be a few weeks between payment and delivery.
If you're interested, we highly recommend backing this campaign for $1, so you'll be notified when the retailer add-on becomes available.
This offer will only be available for retailers.
What if I want more than one copy?
Back for a single copy now. You will be able to pledge for additional copies as an add-on in BackerKit.
I'm in the EU. Do you offer EU-friendly shipping?
Yes! In previous campaigns, I've shipped to the EU from the UK. That may change for this campaign depending on how Brexit goes, but my fulfiller has a warehouse in Germany that we will be able to ship from. So either way, EU backers will not have to pay customs or VAT.
I'm in the UK. Do you offer UK-friendly shipping?
Yes! I will still be able to ship from the UK for people in the UK. Note that there's a small possibility that backers in Ireland and/or Scotland will get their games from the EU, depending on how Brexit goes.
What other countries will you be shipping from?
In total, I will be shipping from the following countries:
- United Kingdom
- Germany (possibly)
Do you offer a PNP (print and play) version of the game?
Because of the massive tactile nature of this game (specifically the 300+ plastic stackable pieces), we are not offering free or paid PNPs for this project.
Are you planning to sell this game at conventions?
There is a possibility that I will have a limited number of copies of this game at Gen Con and Essen Spiel. If that happens, I will notify the campaign and reserve copies so that backers attending the convention can pick up their games at the show. If I have leftover games, I will offer them for sale to convention attendees. The number of games sold this way is likely to be low, and I'd expect to sell out of our remaining convention stock before most non-backer attendees can buy it. However, I wanted to mention it in case it is a factor in your deciding to back the game!
Gil Hova has been designing board games since 2000, and has been self-publishing his own designs through his publishing company Formal Ferret Games since 2014. He's best known for the strategy game The Networks. He's also designed the family game Wordsy and the party game Bad Medicine.
Gil is co-host of the Ludology podcast with Geoff Engelstein, and has taught game design classes at NYU GameCenter and Playcrafting NYC. He also runs the NYC-Playtest game designer group. Gil's games combine satisfying and rewarding gameplay with streamlined rulesets, and often a dash of humor. He lives in Jersey City (next door to NYC) with his partner and two adorable ferrets.
Heiko Günther is a carpenter and a graphic designer by trade. In 2010, together with five other graphic designers (who share an urge to make the world a more beautiful place) I founded Bureau Stabil, an agency for graphic design and related stuff. They operate from Saarbrücken and love their jobs.
His family has always played board games, mostly the variety that allows you to be mean to the people you really like. Playing board games to me is, among other things, a way to build character. Much like in real life, there are rules you need to adhere to, there are ways you might try and break these rules, there are other people whose actions you might want to guess, react to or influence – in short to interact with – to be successful, and, most importantly, you make and keep changing plans and look for ways to bring them fruition.
But unlike real life, if a plan doesn't work out, you restart and try a different one next time. And, once the game is over, no matter how mean you acted, no matter how devious you were, no matter what grudges you held against your opponents during the game, all of that is over, the testing ground is closed and your friends are your friends again.
Kwanchai Moriya is an illustrator and painter. He was born in New York and grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. He completed his education with a degree in History from the University of California and a degree in Illustration from the Art Center College of Design. Kwanchai lives and works in Los Angeles, California.
He has a passion for making fun illustrations, and has worked primarily in board games, card games and children's books. Kwanchai is also an avid painter, working mostly in acrylics with science fiction and fantasy themes. His other hobbies include making woodworking, playing board games and backpacking.
Written, directed, animated, and edited by: Gil Hova
Camera by: Steve Landau, Dicebreakers
Fib-O-Meter graphics by: Bebo, Be Bold Games
Music credits: "Monkeys Spinning Monkeys," "Look Busy," "Plucky Daisy," "Tiny Fugue" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
Risks and challenges
No Kickstarter project is without risk! My job as creator is to minimize these risks as best I can. To date, I have successfully funded 5 Kickstarter campaigns. Of those, 4 have completed fulfillment, and 1 is in the process of fulfillment.
The biggest risk we face are production delays. This is common with plastics. I am working closely with the plastics team at Panda manufacturing who will make sure that High Rise's plastic bits are made exactly to specification.
Of course, we are not planning on delays. But if I have a choice between delaying the game and releasing a game that is significantly suboptimal, I will, whenever possible, delay the game and fix all issues to everyone's satisfaction.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (24 days)