Important Importables: Kairosoft

June 3, 2012 - 2:00 am No Comments

Hot Japanese Imports: Kairosoft

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We love Kairosoft! Really, I mean it. The developer is a favorite over here at GamerTell, particularly among Jeremy Hill and myself. It’s for a good reason too. The company is adept and making simulation apps that sink into your head and don’t let go. You can start playing one, like Game Dev Story, with the intent of only covering one in-game year. The next thing you know, three hours have passed.

When you love something, you’re compelled to share it. So this week I’m talking about Kairosoft and suggesting a few of its best games to try.

What’s Kairosoft?

It’s a really awesome indie developer that primarily makes games for iOS and Android devices. In fact, their website now focuses on their iOS and Android offerings. Originally, Kairosoft began as a doujin developer that focused on Windows PC games. It’s only when those became successful that it became a force in the fields of mobile game development for cell phones, smart phones and tablets.

While Game Dev Story is undoubtedly the company’s most popular game now, it isn’t how it started. Kairosoft began back in 1996 with more simple PC simulations that lacked the style and finesse of their current games, but still managed to get people playing. Their first game dealt with a used bookstore, with the second being a slightly improved version of the original. The original Game Dev Story forerunner was released in 1997 for Windows PCs. That’s when the company really started to take off. It still remembers its routes though, as all of its old PC games are available for free on its website.

It wasn’t until 2010 that Kairosoft received worldwide notoriety. That’s when Game Dev Story was released in iTunes in North America. The game resonated with gamers around the world. It was simple, but allowed players freedom to develop their own imaginary games and even systems. It and Kairosoft’s other sims proved it was a competant developer capable of releasing elaborate simulations that would reward players who invested the right amount of time in them.

So which Kairosoft apps should I be playing?

Now you should really start playing some of the Kairosoft games. They’re carried on both iTunes and the Google Play Store and in both cases there are free Lite and paid full versions. Start with Lite and you should know after two or three days if these apps are for you.

  • Anime Studio (mobile): If you loved Game Dev Story, this Japan-exclusive is for you. It’s basically the same premise, only this time you’re in charge of an anime studio and are developing your own anime series. It isn’t available in English
  • Battle! Ninja Village! (iOS): This one isn’t available outside of Japan yet. You built up a village of ninjas, placing different buildings, training your characters and generally making everything perfect. You then send out to battle to get rewards. So it has simulation and RPG elements.
  • Dungeon Village (Android): Like Battle! Ninja Village!, you manage a village and it’s warriors, making the village appealing by having high quality and popular shops while also keeping villagers well equipped to handle quests and exploration.
  • Epic Astro Story (iOS, Android): It’s a hybrid sim/RPG like Battle! Ninja Village and Dungeon Village, only in this case you’re colonizing an alien planet and making it a prosperous colony while exploring unknown areas.
  • Game Dev Story (iOS, Android, Windows, mobile): This is the Kairosoft game. It’s a straightforward simulation where you’re head of a game development studio. You start small and decide who to hire, what games to make for what systems and the general path of your studio.
  • Manga Dojo Story (iOS, Windows, mobile): You’re a mangaka who’s trying to become famous. Like Game Dev Story, you develop various kinds of manga and put together a studio to create manga and become famous. It isn’t available in English.
  • Mega Mall Story (iOS, Android): In this simulation you own a mall. You then determine which stores to place and where, in the hopes of creating the best mall in the area with the most customers.
  • Oh! Edo Towns (iOS): In this simulation you create an old Edo (Tokyo) town, trying to make it prosperous while also luring in lots of people and generally awesome. It’s “somewhat” similar to SimCity.

I know, there are no prices included. I did that for a reason. While there’s a good chance if you like one Kairosoft game, you’ll like them all, it isn’t a guarantee. Some are better than others, and some offerings will appeal to other people more than others. Since free Lite versions are available for all games, I highly recommend trying those first.

While you’re playing, keep an eye out for Kairobot, King Akbar, the masked luchador man and the monkey. They tend to make cameo appearances in pretty much every Kairosoft game.

COMING NEXT WEEK: Hot Japanese Imports talks about Tokidoki and its various collaborations

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Last week Hot Japanese Imports talked about Girl’s RPG: Cinderellife.

Follow Jenni on Twitter for more import game updates and general fangirl enthusiasm!

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