631071_largerI 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.

screen1136x1136Eventually 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.

TouchArcade Rating

StarStarStarStarNone
  • pdSlooper

    Excellent review.

  • PallaZ

    I'm waiting for game dev story 2.

  • Jake7905

    I can't say I'm impressed by this newest release by Kairosoft, or their decision to go the free-to-play route once again. Hopefully these uninspired 'freemium' games don't become a trend for the developer.

    • toxiccheese

      Uninspired? Have you even tried this game? It is excellent!

      • Jake7905

        Tried & deleted

  • mutts

    It is this title and beastie bay that are freemium.
    Looking at the playstore on Android gives a totally different view.
    With Pocket League Story 2, Ninja Village and Pocket Stables recetly released.
    Non of them are freemium.

    • Jake7905

      Good to know that they're still doing premium games, but....Android? Really? IOS is THE mobile format, they're nuts if they keep those games 'Android only'.

      • Benegesserit

        Welcome to a year ago. Samsung is wrecking Apple. It's over. People are moving to Android. I'm seeing way more Galaxy phones than iPhones now, and I still use my 4S. Switching o the Note 3.

      • tranceforma

        Half tempted by the note 3 too!

      • pdSlooper

        It really depends on the Japanese market. English releases seem to be an afterthought.

    • pdSlooper

      Wait, what? Pocket League Story 2 *is* freemium, isn't it?

      • homosaur

        Sort of. It's paid to kill ads. There's an IAP component but you don't need to buy it at all.

      • pdSlooper

        So, basically, exactly like Dream House Days and Beastie Bay.

  • MartianLM

    I've downloaded the game but am failing the initiative test. How the hell do I build walls within rooms?

    • pdSlooper

      You don't. Walls automatically appear between different flooring types. Put in some new floors using the build/furnishing menu.

  • Maggot

    Fun game, but tickets are really required to play it. Remove ads? $4.99. Enable fast mode? $4.99. Get tickets in general, which vast amounts are required for about everything? $0.99 per 10 (10 == just one gold ticket, which gives a 50/50 chance of getting something useful.

    I'm sorry, but this isn't a $50 console quality game. It shouldn't cost that much to play it.

    • homosaur

      I think you unlock fast mode after playing through it once as well.

      • pdSlooper

        You also get tickets and almost every ticket-purchasable item in-game through gameplay. The better you are at the game, the more you get. It is possible that Maggot is being silly.

Dream House Days Reviewed by Eric Ford on . Rating: 3.5