When it comes to mobile game developers, Kairosoft is pretty much the Motörhead of that bunch. Their games are largely enjoyable, you’re unlikely to run into anything new that you’d hadn’t played before if you’ve played one, and it’s just an overall sense of familiarity. It doesn’t necessarily get into the repetition of a King title, since Kairosoft games can be split into RPG, business sim, and sports sim categories.
One thing different about Kairosoft is that it will explore new topics for the game. If you played Kairosoft heavy hitter Game Dev Story then you’re basically playing Kairosoft as a company—as well as the bulk of the mechanics for its industry sims. This brings us to Anime Studio Story—a game very similar to Game Dev Story only focused on running a cartoon/anime (Japanese cartoon) studio instead of a game development studio.
As stated before, Anime Studio Story plays exactly like other industry/business sims in Kairosoft’s library of titles. You’ll start a new studio, hire employees, and develop anime series. In the same fashion of Game Dev Story where you would put together a genre and a theme then pick a system to put your game on, in Anime Studio Story you will pick a theme and a network to air your anime series.
The process then becomes largely automated with your busy studio of workers collecting points to apply to different areas of the series such as visuals, story, and sound.
At different points in development you will need to pick a worker to handle a specific task: before development begins to lay the ground work for the series and at 40-percent completion you pick a character that generates more points for the series. At 80-percent completion the series has a screening that generates more points before being 100-percent complete at which you name the series and release it.
From there your series begins its run on network garnering ratings at different points in its run before ending. This is the main way your studio will generate money—the other being through contracts which work largely the same way—which allows you to invest in facilities that improve employee happiness and series quality, allows you to make more series with larger studios, and eventually move on to larger offices which means more employees can be hired.
In addition to this, there are taxes pulled after your first year, merchandising opportunities, and end of the year award ceremonies which are present in most Kairosoft titles. While you can play indefinitely, scores are kept for a 20 year period in-game.
GRAPHICS & SOUND
Gameplay has always been the selling point for Kairosoft games and Anime Studio Story is no different. The graphics here are 2D, sprite-ish and colorful and for old school Nintendo players will put you in the mindset of the early Harvest Moon games. The sound is the same way: very upbeat and cheerful. These elements make for Anime Studio Story not being a grimdark, gloomy game.
PROS & CONS
Pros: It’s extremely enjoyable, challenging at times but not at all hard to get into. Like all Kairosoft games Anime Studio Story straddles that fence between being a casual time waster and something you’ll play hardcore—trying to figure out the best combinations of theme and studio, developing the best characters and employees, getting the top ratings, trying to win all the year end awards.
Cons: If you’ve played any Kairosoft business simulation games you’ve played Anime Studio Story. As a matter of fact, if you played other titles like Game Dev Tycoon—you’ve played Anime Studio Story. The larger con is that it’s only available for Android at the moment.
Definitely pick up Anime Studio Story. It’s $5 on Android and it’s a good time killer and a fun, challenging game if you want something different from the match three group or if you don’t want something resources and space heavy. The Lite version is available as well.