We spied Oh! Edo Towns [$3.99/Lite] on the App store in early September, and ever since, I've been wringing my hands in anticipation at the thought of a new Kairosoft game to fill up my free time. After all, Game Dev Story earned our coveted five-star score, and we've enjoyed the clever and cute take on the pleasures of city sims every since. Throw in my slight obsession with historical Japan, and then tell me I get to build my own town in Edo-period Japan, and here you have a very excited gamer. Can I be a shogun? Paint some ukiyo-e? Maybe even thwart Saigo Takamori before he reaches the borders of my humble town?

In all seriousness, though -- if you have ever played a Kairosoft title, you will know what to expect here. Oh! Edo Towns follows the formula of the previous games by kicking it off giving you your own plot of land to build up into something spectacular. Considering the theme, everything plays on Japan's Edo period, from the ability to build things like Public Baths and Dumpling Shops to small details such as character dress and design. If you're a fan of Japanese history, as I am, you are sure to have a soft spot for this one.

Just in case you have never played a Kairosoft sim before, here's how it works: the clock ticks as you survey your land and make choices about how to build it up. A full menu is available at the touch of a finger, and from there you can build everything from fields for crops to homes, and even eventually castles. As you make your town more appealing, more people will move into it, and as you build more structures that your residents can use to educate themselves, such as libraries, they can then better themselves and therefore benefit the town and boost your 'Yield" (meaning how much money your town makes).

To keep the flow of your town building going, you'll get periodical updates from the local newspaper. This is Kairosoft's gentle way of nudging you and giving you hints as to what to do next, such as what to build to help your town prosper. Oh! Edo Towns is a great game for anyone with a hardcore case of OCD (cough, cough) because you can also examine the stats of your residents, town, buildings and finances at all times and analyze how it can be improved.

Keep working, and your town will grow into a burgeoning community. The pace is well set and helps to allay boredom by keeping updates consistent as your new residents move in and your town flourishes. Planting trees and other landscaping near buildings or paying close attention to what buildings are compatible with one another is a key tactic to making sure your town ranks high when the time comes around to win some awards. Get to buildin!

The only pitfall I can see when it comes to Oh! Edo Towns is someone saying, "This is the same game as the others with a new skin." Technically, they would be right, as it does follow the same formula, though the flow of gameplay and hints are better than ever before. If you've had enough, you can probably replay the ones you played before. On the other hand, if the idea of having a slew of new possible combos at your fingertips to transform your little town into a booming rural metropolis makes you salivate a little, what you want is here, and there's even a brand new lite version to try out. Time to carve your own spot in Japanese history, my friends.

TouchArcade Rating

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  • http://www.preview.in.th/ Game News

    Very fun!! I never close since last 2 day till now.

  • Nick Morgan

    I've bought and loved all of Kairosoft 'sims' in the past but this one might be a stretch too far for me.

    I've no particular interest in Japan or it's history and, on the face of it, it seems to be much like the previous games.  Perhaps i'll pick it up if it goes on sale at a later date.

  • http://twitter.com/Aghartastudio Alex

    the game is cool. but i wanted to point out that there is no gamecenter acheivement... I hope it will be available soon in an update!

    • http://twitter.com/Inaba_kun Phil Baxter

      I'm surprised anyone actually cares about Game Centre achievements.  

  • http://twitter.com/clajoh clajoh

    This one obviously caters to people with a certain taste for Japanese culture. For reference, personally I was sold the moment I saw images of the original keitai-verision.

    We're starting to see Kairosoft games hitting a ceiling when it comes to innovating the playability of their games. The atmosphere is top-notch, but Edo Town risks getting repetitive, unless you actually get something special out of the different games' main themes. Mega Mall Story did that for me once I had unlocked every shop.

    However, I also think Kairosoft has gotten better at perfecting the formula and like I said, the atmosphere in each game is amazing. I'll definately keep on supporting their iOS releases. The next City Sim looks almost equally interesting.

    • Anonymous

      I have all of their games and I agree, some are too similar while other different.

      For example Mega Mall is very different, so is Edo, while "School" versions are mainly the same (I count Hot Springs as a "School" version as frankly it is a school for hot tubs :]).
      While the Grand Prix was quite different from the rest of them.

      But in their core, they are all built in the same way, and contain the same set of ingredients, that what makes them very similar as well as makes them quite enjoyable - conquered one, you can probably win them all.

      I can see City Sim as being a time-era-upgraded version of Edo Town, and nothing quite more.

      It would be interesting where they would go from here as their "Cruise" version looks like a Hot Springs version on a boat :)

      • http://twitter.com/clajoh clajoh

        I suppose it depends on wether or not the next "City Sim"-game (keep forgetting the name) has any interesting simulation aspects. As an old SimCity veteran I sort of miss managing the more advanced budget controls.

        Then again... If Kairosoft allows me to combo a Yoshinoya-style fast food restaurant with a vending machine in-game I guess I wont mind some more shallowness.

        Thing is, it's almost unprecedented that a previously keitai-only developer would not only port their games, but translate them as well!

        The cruise game does look interesting. Hot Springs Story still remains a favorite of mine as well!

  • http://twitter.com/MatthewPoat Matthew Poat

    This is the first Kairosoft game that has bored me within the hour. It just seemed to be a bit pointless and monotonous. I closed it and started another game of GP Story and Mega Mall Story instead. I find these games much more engaging

  • Anonymous

    There's no auras and the only stat that seems to really mean anything is yield. Most of this game consists of letting the simulation take its course and waiting for people to move in. I think this is by far Kairosoft's most shallow offering. If you're going to pass on a Kairosoft game, this is the one to pass on for sure.

Oh! Edo Towns Lite Reviewed by Colette Bennett on . Rating: 4.5