Bite Sized Reviews: Let’s School

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Bite Sized Reviews: Let’s School

I’ve loved management games since I was young. The very first ones I played were the Bullfrog sims, like Theme Park and Theme Hospital. With such a diverse pool of games in this genre, I am spoiled for choice.

The last few weeks have been a wild ride, haven’t they? I’m just about on track with my writing goals, and I’ve had amazing feedback. I’m just happy that I have a circle of people who seem to enjoy my ramblings, which is great! If even one person sees my indie game coverage and buys the games featured, that makes me happy. I’ve got a bunch of reviews and projects coming up, but for now, let’s go back to school!

Let’s not. I do not miss school days at all!

I don’t often talk about disappointing games, but one that left me feeling underwhelmed was Two Point Campus. The spiritual successor of Bullfrog with some of their previous developers, Two Point Hospital remains one of my favourite management titles of all time. Unfortunately, their successor Two Point Campus did not give me the same satisfaction. It might be due to it feeling too similar to Two Point Hospital. Despite it being a university builder with the usual Bullfrog humour I love so much, I felt it to be too close to what I had already played, just with a different skin. That’s not saying I disliked Campus — quite the opposite. It’s just not for me. The relatively high price tag and the large amount of DLC probably haven’t helped matters either. With many games choosing the DLC/Games as a service model for continued development over the years, I understand from a consumer viewpoint how annoying that is.

Let’s School is something else entirely. Launching last summer, it has received plenty of content updates ever since and has more than exceeded my expectations. If you are like me and feel a little disappointed with Two Point, Let’s School is the correct game for you. Developed and published by Pathea Games, this is a refreshing change from their usual games. These are the folks behind My Time at Portia and Sandrock, although Let’s School began from a single developer within the Pathea Games team tinkering with ideas. I find it wholesome and quite awesome that the rest of them supported their fellow developers turning it into a reality.

On the surface, Let’s School looks like a simple management sim, but it packs quite a punch into its small package. It starts with an excellent tutorial that lays out all the mechanics of managing a school, all aided by humorous dialogue and a great interface. One of the biggest pitfalls for any management game, or any game in particular, is failing the tutorial. Let’s School thankfully did a great job in teaching the player, and I had no problems following the instructions. It’s strange that with all the management games out there, there are only a few that touch upon the school genre. While Two Point Campus and Academia: School Simulator are okay games, Let’s School is probably the best school sim at the moment.

Onto the mechanics, there’s a lot at play here. All the teachers and students have different traits and needs that require the player to keep track of. Some need to take a toilet break more often or buckle under the pressure of exams. They will make friends, form relationships, and shatter them all on a hard day in the office.

As with all education systems, they require a lot of money to keep going, and you’re in direct competition with schools across the country for that hard-earned cash. The building customization is also fantastic. There’s so much freedom to how you can develop the school, to the point that you can build whatever you like. I spent most of my time addicted to kitting out my school with every little item I could think of. With plenty of maps as well as a sandbox mode, Let’s School offers depth and content for its reasonable 20-dollar price tag.

The game’s not perfect of course, and there are a couple of things that caught my attention. While the English translation is overall solid, I found a few parts that felt unclear. Some bits also are still in Chinese, but knowing how difficult localization can be, I only found minor issues that should be fixed. I came across a few weird animation bugs with how the peeps moved: one hilarious moment came while I was making a new classroom, only to be surprised when my teacher got stuck in the wall.

Despite these little bits of jank, Let’s School has enjoyed an impressive first year of development. Even though it’s a full release, the developers have continued to patch the game, fixing bugs and adding more content. If you enjoy management games and have been itching to play a game that fuels your inner headmaster, Let’s School might just be the game for you.

You can buy Let’s School on Steam and Humble for £15.99/20 USD.

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TheThousandScarAuthor/Blogger/Cartographer/Streamer/Narrative Game Writer/I play far too many games. |

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