Oh! Edo Towns ($3.99) by Kairosoft Co.,Ltd is another simulation game for your iOS device, though this time, you’ll be creating your ideal samurai town.
We just can’t get enough of these Kairosoft titles, it seems. It started with Game Dev Story, then Hot Springs Story, Pocket Academy, Mega Mall Story, Grand Prix Story, and now we have Oh! Edo Towns. And each and every one of these games is oh-so-addictive (though some may not keep some entertained as much as others, depending on the person). So I was delighted to learn about this new title and give it a spin. I am not disappointed.
The goal of Oh! Edo Towns is create a successful domain in Edo period Japan. At the start of the game, you can choose one of three different maps: an average and balanced terrain, mountainous terrain, or seaside terrain. Being one that appreciates a good ocean view, I decided to give my domain that beautiful ocean view.
Your domain will start out pretty barren, and you have some funds to start out with. To attract more people to moving in to your domain, you must build vacant lots to start with. Additionally, you’ll be building connecting roads and other buildings that will earn you money, while attracting more people. Citizens will move in to these homes, and when they have enough money saved up, they will automatically remodel their homes, so no work is required of you for that, which is nice.
Whenever you place a building on the map, that building will earn you “yield.” To place in the rankings of the best domains in Japan, you will have to get a lot of total yield. Placing resident homes near buildings that match their job description will earn you more yield, as well as placing certain buildings together to make combos (think Mega Mall Story). But don’t build buildings without paths to connect them to the rest of your domain! No path means that no people can go to it, and thus you won’t get any money from it.
When you start, you get a few buildings and facilities that you can build. But like with the other Kairosoft titles, you can do “research” in the game and then unlock a new building type. Doing this is important to completing your little town, and is done through the game menu.
An interesting little tidbit is that your residents may not venture out to a building if it is too far from their home. To remedy this, you can research and build a Stable, where people can go to buy a horse mount, and thus go to places that they wouldn’t be able to reach on foot. It will definitely be important to have at least one of these, so make sure you get one.
Each resident also has a specialty (you can view this by tapping on them to see their stats). Sometimes, a resident will propose a “craft” to you, which you can use to power up buildings to get more yield, that is, if the craft is compatible with the building. Each craft has a limited number of uses (the power), and you lose one if it is used and has an effect on a building. However, if it’s used and there is no effect, then you don’t lose one. The crafts can be leveled up as well, but the success rate depends on how much you put into the cost.
Eventually, you’ll be able to add a castle to your domain. The castle can be placed anywhere you’d like, and it will increase the yield of all buildings in its radius. However, you won’t be able to move the castle once you build it, so you will have to think carefully about where you place it so that it will be advantageous.
At the end of every year, you will see how good your domain is doing by seeing if it ranks in the top 100. You will also collect taxes from your residents, which you’ll probably end up using to continue renovating your domain.
Just like all of the other Kairosoft titles, your goal is to be ranked first. All of the in-game actions are done through the game menu, and you can easily save your game with one tap of the Save button in the corner. Your score will appear at the end of the game (I would guess when you reach number one, though I haven’t reached that point yet), and you can repeat the process for the three terrain types.
The controls are pretty much touch and drag, but you can pull up a virtual D-Pad at the bottom of the screen. The screen can be zoomed in and out and rotated as well, but this only works on iPhone 3GS, 4, and 4S, iPod touch 2nd generation and later, and iPad.
The graphics are what you’d expect from Kairosoft, and I found the premise of this game to be extremely fun and addictive. It’s more like the other game, Pocket Academy, though with a more interesting concept (I wasn’t addicted to PA like most of the other titles).
I’d definitely recommend picking this one up, especially if you were a fan of Mega Mall Story (the premise reminds me of this title the most), or just any of the Kairosoft games in general. Simulation fans that have yet to experience Kairosoft would also appreciate this gem.
There is also a free version to try the game before you buy the full one.