Hot Springs Story Review
- Deep management elements; lots of complex customer/building interactions to learn.
- Highly addictive gameplay; encourages repeat plays to 'perfect' your inn.
- Interface improvements and useful help features; keep track of interactions as you learn them.
- Minor touch-based menu complications; however building selection is improved by zooming.
- Odd bug/redundant code can make a mouse cursor appear when tapping.
Hot Springs Story is a different approach to the Sim-Management style of gameplay that made Game Dev Story so popular, but it's no less addictive and players should prepare themselves for some social black-outs.
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Spare me a moment and consider one of the few, but very real concerns of reviewing video games. Last year I had to fortune (or is that misfortune?) of spending a lot of time with Game Dev Story (GDS) by Kairosoft, but it's addictive gameplay almost ruined a week's worth of scheduled work. Now I'm playing their follow-up, Hot Springs Story (HSS) and much like the virtual game developers of their previous title, these very real developers have not simply leveled up, they've found the real-world cheat codes to maxing out their Sim-Management skills.
One of the first notable changes over GDS is the improved control system that, while still mostly menu based, allows for more interaction over the environment including the ability to zoom in and out and a horizontal orientation for a better perspective. Where GDS rewarded players for creating clever combinations and micro-managing individual workers, HSS takes a broader approach to managing your holiday retreat and each facility you build needs to be carefully placed to maximize its benefits. Each customer type has a set of likes and dislikes that can be catered to specifically and the proximity of each structure you build can improve their individual popularity (and subsequent value) to those who stay at your inn.
Much like GDS the game uses a compact pixel-art style, but the overall effect is improved dramatically by the constant hub-bub of people interacting with each facility. Time is also represented in two ways, with each 24 hour period indicating a passing month and as the seasons change so too will your gardens, further affecting the popularity of your holiday retreat.
If one major criticism could be leveled at HSS, it'd be the strange lack of the tongue-in-cheek humor that made GDS so much fun to play, but when the tradeoff is a deeper, rewarding game, there's not much room to complain.
Those who lost themselves to Game Dev Story should strap themselves in for more time lost with Hot Springs Story and if you missed Kairosoft's first Sim release you should definitely grab this one first.
DescriptionBuild your own resort and propel it to success with but a touch of the finger in this one-of-a-kind simulation!
Rooms, restaurants, arcades, and baths--position each facility to lull your guests into hot spring Nirvana and skyrocket your establishment to fame!
Craft the perfect Japanese garden from lanterns, pine trees, azaleas, and more--you'll need it all if you want to attract VIPs like pop stars and novelists.
There can only be one #1! Do you have what it takes?
Turn your device to rotate the screen, touch to scroll, and pinch to zoom in and out.
Supports iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.
The game now lets you switch between English and Japanese.