Pocket Academy ($3.99) by Kairosoft Co.,Ltd is a simulation game that allows you to create your own school and maintain it.
Simulation games seem to be the latest craze these days, and Kairosoft always seems to know how to do it right. I have to admit, when Game Dev Story came out, I spent countless hours in it, before I came to the sad reality that I did not own a game development company and was not rolling in those millions of dollars of profits.
But now Kairosoft has done the same thing again, but this time it's a school! Welcome to the Pocket Aacademy.
The game starts off with several options of different school layouts, each with it's own benefits and unique features. You get to choose the school uniforms for your male and female students as well, with eight styles each. Pocket Academy will also give you the option to name your school as well as your first student. Then it's time to start working!
Of course, as you start off, your school will be pretty slow. But you can start building and tweaking your school the way you like it. All of the game's controls are done through tapping and menu selections. You can also use the touch screen to simply touch where you want to build things, or even pull up the on-screen button controls. Saving the game is a simple matter of tapping "Save."
As your school continues to flourish, you will attract more students. Each student will have their own personality and strengths and weaknesses in academics. The more students you have, the more money you will earn through their tuition fees.
When you get more students in your school, you will be able to do cool things like start clubs, enter competitions, and all that other fun school stuff. You can even decide who will be the couple of the week, depending on personalities. Did you ever have this control back in your school days?
You can hire teachers as well, but the better teachers will also come at a higher cost. But of course, they will help your students raise their stats in various subject matters, like English, Math, Science, and P.E.
Special facilities can be built on your campus that will earn you cash over time. Examples of this are the chicken coop and rabbit cage--these will mature and produce items for the students over time, and earn more money for the school.
As time passes, you'll be able to see how long your school has been around at the top left corner. Years, months, and weeks are shown. Each quarter will result in salaries and fees being paid, so it's in your best interest to make the school flourish.
The game allows users to rotate the screen, touch to scroll, and even pinch to zoom in and out of their campus for complete control. An important note is that screen rotation and zoom are only available on an iPhone 3GS and later, or iPod Touch 2nd generation or later, and iPad.
Unfortunately, like Hot Springs Story, there isn't Game Center integration for Pocket Academy. One thing I liked about Game Dev Story was that there was achievements to get, but that's missing here. Maybe in the future.
I'm finding Pocket Academy to be quite enjoyable. It's much more customizable than Game Dev Story, which is a great thing. I'm still trying to make my school prosper, since I've only just started.
Despite being a simulation game like Game Dev Story, there's a lot more to do in Pocket Academy. Because of this, if you enjoyed any of Kairosoft's previous titles, then this is also a must-buy. There is also a Lite version to try the game out before you make the full purchase.
So what are you waiting for? Download Pocket Academy and start building your dream school!