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Pocket Academy Review

By , on July 5, 2011


Pocket Academy
Download on the AppStore
4 out of 5

PROS

  • Multiple scenarios to choose from; huge replay value.
  • Complex interactions; focuses on long-term planning.
  • Information overload; useful statistics always at your fingertips.

CONS

  • Steep learning curve; few initial safety-nets and easy to compound errors.

VERDICT

While not as immediately addictive as Game Dev Story, Pocket Academy provides a deeper challenge with huge amounts of replay value.


  • Full Review
  • App Store Info
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Ask and ye shall receive - it wasn’t all that long ago that Japanese iOS gamers had their hands on the latest release from Kairosoft, Pocket Academy, but now English speaking audiences can try their hands at running a high-school. Much like the other titles in the ‘Story’ series your job is to manage a company (or in this case an institution) in order to keep it growing and providing the best services in the country.

First things first though; ‘Game Dev’ and ‘Hot Springs’ are relatively easy games to jump in to - ‘Pocket Academy’ is not. Initially the biggest problem to overcome is managing your dwindling funds as tuition fees and the occasional bonus here or there will barely keep you ticking over. Your first play through is bound to be riddled with mistakes and the slow pace at which you’re forced to  experience the game is like watching a horrible train-wreck in slow-motion.

Ultimately your job is to produce a school of prestige and fame, hopefully attracting the best and brightest in the country and helping them to fulfill their dreams of getting the jobs they want while enjoying their education. In order to do this you’ll need to build and maintain facilities to encourage students to explore, interact and even fall in love with each other while working towards their goals. Much like ‘Hot Springs’ bonuses are awarded for specific building combinations, though a lot of experimentation is required to find even a handful of options and this can be an expensive and time-consuming process.

The upshot to overcoming adversity is getting to watch individual students as they live and grow, eventually graduating thanks to your care and attention. This is where Pocket Academy sinks its talons in as their failures are your failures and it’s hard to let something like that go down without a fight.

If you’re a fan of ‘Sim’ titles, Pocket Academy delivers a far deeper challenge than the previous ‘Story’ games, but if you’re easily frustrated the first play-through may put you off entirely; an intriguing, but challenging Sim experience for iOS gamers.

Screenshots

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