3 Must Play Kairosoft Games.
(AfroGamers.com) Kairosoft is one of my favorite mobile game developers. They make simulation games that aren’t stats heavy and really easy to get into. Not only that, but their bag is that they do chill games. Actually, they’re like a mobile-centric version of Natsume or a lot of indie developers that took Natsume’s chill approach after the release of Harvest Moon.
Kairosoft: The Motorhead of Mobile Developers
However, there’s a saying I tend to spam when a company, franchise, or whatever runs with the same formula and rarely changes it up—to great success. Kairosoft is the Motorhead of mobile game developers.
Motorhead was a metal band whose front man and founder Lemmy Kilmister stuck to one approach when making music: over the top. Everything had to be louder than everything else and just as fast. The band took this approach from 1975 when Lemmy left the psychedelic space rock band Hawkwind until 2015 when he passed.
The music worked since WWE legend Triple H has always gotten Motorhead to do his theme music.
Kairosoft’s approach is light, easy, mildly challenging, and with RPG elements. Each and every game, it’s the same approach. Even down to the sprites and settings used Kairosoft keeps it simple and just changes the theme and objective.
You would think “Well that is boring, change it up at least” but it works! I can’t exactly put my finger on it why but it simply works! My closest guess is that the company changes up themes and the same approach might be used if the game is a business sim. Then they twist it just enough to work for a town building sim or an RPG.
It’s a genius approach when you consider other developers break their necks trying to do something new with a sequel and get reactions that range wildly. Kairosoft fans know exactly what to expect and it ain’t reinventing the wheel.
So, I was going to do a review of several Kairosoft titles but it would be difficult for the reason above: the titles are all very, very similar. Instead, let’s go into three games you must play from this developer!
Game Dev Story
Originally released on Windows in 1997 and on mobile in 2010, Game Dev Story is the game that brought Kairosoft to the attention of Western mobile gamers. The premise of the game is to run a small video game developer and build it up into a powerhouse that can develop its own consoles.
In the beginning you’ll take on jobs from publishers to make their game and you have to manage workers, their training, employment and firings, and upgrading your studio. You’ve made if your games end up in the Hall of Fame or you do well at the year-end awards. In execution, Game Dev Story is pretty simple compared to a few of the later Kairosoft games but it still delivers a challenge on the first play through because bankruptcy is always around the corner.
This is the ultimate Kairosoft game and it’s now available on the Nintendo Switch. It was a major inspiration for the Greenheart game Game Dev Tycoon.
The Manga Works
Released on mobile in 2016, The Manga Works is pretty much identical to Game Dev Story except that you play as a mangaka who makes comics. You must develop your skills to create better series and get recognized by several of the larger publishers. The bigger the publisher, the longer your series will run and more you’ll have to develop your character’s skills.
On top of this, you have to upgrade their home so that you can get more assistants, manage a life outside of manga to get inspiration, and meet deadlines for your series. It’s a game that makes me wish that there was a Western comics version.
Grand Prix Story
Hitting mobile marketplaces in 2012, Grand Prix Story puts you in charge as the manager of a racing team. It sounds familiar, right? Exactly! It’s Game Dev Story put to racing! You also have to handle research of new car parts, building new cars, winning races, altering cars for certain terrain, and performing well to gather sponsors.
There are several other Kairosoft titles that put you in charge of a hot spring resort, a sweets store, as a landlord, a high school, and a ninja village to name a few. This company really took two-and-a-half engines and spun-off several games that are all a lot of fun. Check them out and let us know which ones you enjoyed!
Staff Writer; M. Swift
This talented writer is also a podcast host, and comic book fan who loves all things old school. One may also find him on Twitter at; metalswift.