Review: Hot Springs Story

Hot Springs Story is Kairosoft’s follow-up to one of my favorite iOS titles, Game Dev Story.  I loved Game Dev, and everyone who even tried the game became instantly hooked.  My friend Roski had to delete it from his phone because it was too addictive.  Suffice it to say, the game was really good.  However, after a playthrough or two, there really isn’t much left to do, and you don’t really go back to it.  Thankfully, Kairosoft released Hot Springs Story so fans can get addicted again.  But at a whopping $4, is it worth buying?

If you’ve played Game Dev Story, then this game should instantly appeal to you.  The two games have similarities, but at the same time, also have many differences .  Instead of becoming a successful video game developer, in Hot Springs Story, you’re trying to run a hot springs resort where you must balance money, satisfaction of customers, decor, and compatibility.  I initially didn’t understand all of the mechanics, but quickly figured out what to do.  Aside from targeting specific demographics, you are constantly trying to rank in various magazines that grade scenery, restaurants, or your springs themselves.  Springs is more engaging compared to Game Dev, but that’s not really saying much.  Here you need to upgrade scenery, add perks to specific facilities, and consistently add to your constantly growing land.  Trust me when I say, it’s much more fun then it sounds.

Although I enjoyed the game, I definitely would have to say that Game Dev Story is better in more ways then not.  Maybe it was due to the fact that GDS hit closer to home in that you designed games, titled each one, and eagerly awaited your scores, feedback, and sales.  Throw in the fact that it’s also cheaper, and I’d definitely recommend it over HSS.  However, that isn’t to say that I don’t think HSS is worth it; just that if you had to choose between the two, GDS would be the better choice.  Some design flaws from GDS (like not being able to play in landscape) have been remedied, and fans will definitely appreciate them.  But just like with GDS, Hot Springs also suffers from a lack of replayability.  The first time I played through it, however, I did enjoy myself and didn’t want to stop.

I truly wanted to give this game a better score, but there are a lot of factors against justifying anything higher.  The price is kind of steep, and there really isn’t much to do after you beat the game.  Knowing Kairosoft, there won’t be any substantial updates, either, outside of bug fixes.  While it’s a fun title while it lasts, I’d recommend waiting for a promotional price drop before picking this game up.
Hot Springs Story
Platform: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad (iOS 3.1+)
Genre: Business Sim
Release Date: 2/28/2011
Developer: Kairosoft
Publisher: Kairosoft
ESRB Rating: 4+
MSRP: $3.99


Leave a Reply