I remember a time when every new Kairosoft game that launched on iOS was met with big fanfare. It's been a long time since the likes of Game Dev Story [$4.99 / Free], however, and releases seem to almost sneak out onto the App Store without too much attention paid. Whether that's due to over saturation or the games' recent foray into non-western themes, the fact remains that most of the games are still pretty fun, if a little off-beat. Such is the case with Dream House Days [Free], the latest to hit Apple's platform. While the game's setting and depth may not be as universally appealing as its other titles, Dream House Days still has a lot of fun for those that put forth the effort to uncover it.
Putting you in the role of a landlord, Dream House Days has you managing a small housing complex with a couple of apartments to start. Apartments are mainly judged based on rent, comfort, and expenses. Rent is primarily based on how well you furnish your apartment, comfort is a combination of the quality of furniture along with building special rooms, and expenses are the regular costs of everything in your apartments (you didn't think that furniture was free, right?). At its most simplistic level, the goal of Dream House Days is to rent out your apartments, and make more money in each apartment than your expenses take out.
Of course, being a Kairosoft game, Dream House Days has far more depth than just that simple summary. Each tenant has its own individual stats, desires, and job prospects that directly affect their earning potential. The special rooms mentioned above add an extra layer to furnishing your apartment as you try to fit as many of them (which bestow added rent and comfort to your apartment) into your apartment while still making sure you provide all the essentials.
Eventually you can expand and build new apartment to rent, and you can even grant tenants pet licenses and help them get married and have kids, each changing the dynamic of the tenant/apartment relationship.
I could go on about the amount of strategy and options available in Dream House Days, but to be honest it's nothing new for folks that have been following Kairosoft. Suffice to say, I had a blast with all the possibilities, and while the game's theme is a little weird, I still found myself compelled to play in the hopes that I earn just a little more money or help my tenant get that promotion or meet that true love. Kairosoft has a penchant for making games that keep players coming back, and Dream House Days continues that trend.
While I thoroughly enjoyed the meat of Dream House Days, there are a few execution problems that make the actual playthrough more frustrating than it needs to be. The room building mechanic, for example, is a bit obtuse and can lead to novice players losing money trying to maximize the room potential in their apartments. Also, while I appreciate the sheer depth of the game, Dream House Days does not do a good job explaining the nuances.
Then there are the tickets, Dream House Days', 'premium' currency that can be used to purchase scratch cards (which offer random prizes) as well as high end items that can be used to increase the likelihood of long-term projects with tenants coming to fruition. Tickets also eventually become required to take part in some of the annual contests that are held to evaluate your progress. Now, tickets are slowly earned in-game, and the title's friend code system allows you to earn supplemental tickets the more your friends play. Still, I really hate having a premium currency system in a game that's supposed to be about long-term planning and depth.
Employing the "free with ads" scheme that has become more the norm with its recently released titles, there's really no reason not to try out Dream House Days. Sure, the game feels a little more rough than other Kairosoft titles, but underneath those quirks is vintage Kairosoft.
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