iPhone Game Review: Hot Springs Story Review by Steven Scarpitti
Kairosoft delivers another hit simulation super game in the wake of their successful Game Dev Story, one of their instant classic simulation games. Kairosoft has earned their place as one of my most loved game makers ever, read on to find out why.
There is only one mode of play and that is a sandbox mode where you have to build your small, unknown inn into a large award winning full featured super inn. The game starts you off with a small inn and a small amount of cash, this money can be used in a number of ways. Hot Springs Story is somewhat complex in how you can spend you cash, of course you can build rooms and make your building bigger. You can also choose different demographics of the population to aim your advertising at and you can invest money in projects for your community that can unlock new types of services to build at your inn or investments could also unlock new demographics to advertise to.
Another unique feature in this game is a feng shui aspect of placing plants and other decorative objects around your rooms to increase the scenery rating. There are a number of different objects to use as scenery such as bamboo, azaleas, rocks, lanterns, and more. These objects have different scenery ratings that are applied to surrounding rooms and this helps draw guests to your rooms. There are also special items you can buy that increase the price and/or popularity of a room or facility. There are lots of different service facilities, some are standard and some have to be unlocked by investing in projects. You can also purchase land deeds that give you more land to build your inn even bigger.
Kairosoft has done a great job making this game easy to understand and a joy to play, it's not every day you find a game that keeps you glued for hours on end. If you think this game looks interesting, then you should not hesitate to buy it and be prepared to kiss your free time goodbye. Hot Springs Story has that factor that keeps you wanting to play just a little longer, just a little longer.
The graphics offer a nice 16-bit era look that easily keeps you informed of all the goings on of your inn. The touch controls work perfectly fine and offer a nice experience of scrolling around the game screen and watching your busy inn rack up cash. There is also an option for d-pad control but the touch controls feel more streamlined and intuitive.
The background music is nice and relaxing, it really helps keep you focused on the game. The sound affects is really the only thing lacking in this game but they aren't really very important to a simulation game like this, it's not like there are explosions or other intense actions that require over the top sound affects to keep you immersed. The game does include the ability to play your own music, so that is a plus.
Hot Springs Story is really one of the best of its kind and really shines if you like simulation games of any kind. It should not be missed if you are fan of the genre or if you enjoyed playing Game Dev Story. With a very interesting gameplay Hot Springs Story should also appeal to a lot of gamers in general as it is very well made and feels like a high quality Nintendo DS title that would easily sell for $30.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: -4- The graphics are cute, charming, and fit the game well. I suspect the game would crash most older devices if they were much higher quality. Sound: -4- The sounds are again cute, charming, and fit the game well. Controls: -5- I didn't once misplace or accidently place an object and the controls function smoothly. Gameplay: -5- If I could give it a 6 I would. I didn't want to put the game down to write this review.
Playing Hints and Tips:
There are a lot of options, one worth noting is you can choose the priority of the game for either graphics or performance. By default the games priority is set to graphics, if you are experiencing slow performance then you might want to switch it to performance.