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Oh!Edo Towns

Oh!Edo Towns by Kairosoft was released on iOS late last year, but was recently released for Android. Kairosoft is known for making great time-wasting, micro managing games.  They first knocked it out of the park with “Game Dev Story”, and have had other successes like “Mega Mall Story”, and most recently “Dungeon Village”.  If you haven’t tried the three games I just mentioned, you need to.  They have a great addictive quality to them that keeps you coming back.  

Oh!Edo Towns is another decent micro managing game.  You are given  a town, by the Shogun,  to manage and grow to become the #1 producing town in Japan.  When you initially look at the size of the giant town you feel like it would be impossible to use all the space.  By the time you’re at the end game, you’re going to wish you had a lot more.

Gameplay

The game mechanics involve building shops and farmland so that people will want to become residents in your town.  You can assign residents one of three jobs initially.  They can be a farmer, an artist, or a merchant.  After working in that job over time, the residents will level up.  The max level for any profession is 5.  If you can get a person to master the 3 initial professions then you can then train them to become a warrior.  The only advantage to turning a resident into a warrior is that he will generate more yield, which I’ll explain later.  A warrior still farms, but doesn’t actually do anything warrior-like or different.  Once you master all four you can move up to become a Vassal.  The only advantage to this is that you gain a lot more yield.  All of your shops and facilities level up as well generating more yield.  They max out at level 5 similar to the residents.

All of this by the way is never explained to you in the game.  You have to figure a LOT of it out yourself.  This game has some replay-ability, but it’s mostly because they don’t explain a lot so you will make a lot of mistakes.  I think if it was explained better, than the game wouldn’t last as long.

What is yield?

The game is about “yield”, which is kind of explained, but not exactly.  Everything generates yield.  Your residents, the shops, and even the trees you plant. Everything.  Your basic goal is to arrange things so that they create as much yield as possible to become the #1 town.

Other game mechanics include some limited crafting, and research.  Crafting allows you to make items that you can give to buildings or people to generate more yield.  They don’t seem to affect the game outside of that.  Research allows to you create new facilities and stores.

Oh!Edo Towns is  a good game, but not a great game.  Kairosoft has made a few games that I just couldn’t get into like Hot Springs Story, and Pocket Academy.  I don’t think that Oh!Edo Towns is in the same class, but it isn’t as good as their latest game, Dungeon Village.

Once my city is done and I’m at #1 there isn’t really anything else I can do except start again and try to do it faster.  This is true for many of their games, but with the other games I don’t mind starting from scratch.  Due to the size of the village and everything else I put into it, I’m not sure I really want to do this again

Another minor issue with the game is that Kairosoft created it in Japanese but didn’t  fully translate it for the English release.  There are a few pieces every so often that show words in Japanese on your screen.  It seems like a bit of laziness on their part to not fix this, especially since this game was first released in English on iOS a year ago.

Graphically it is similar to the more recent Kairosoft games.  It has improved since Game Dev Story, more on par with Dungeon Village.  As far as the audio goes, I generally turn the audio off after 10 minutes.  It’s just a big repeating loop.

Oh!Edo Towns will take about 6 hours to go through the first play through if you end the game after the set 16 years.  After that you can replay it on a new game+ set which will keep the levels of your buildings.   I’m now around year 65, and I think I’ve exhausted the game after about 12 hour.

Closing Comments

If you are looking for a good time waster, I’d say try Game Dev Story, and Dungeon Village first.    If you have already gone through those games, and you’re looking for more of the same, then Oh!Edo Towns will hopefully scratch your itch.

Positives Negatives
  • Addictive like all Kairosoft games.
  • Set in ancient Japan with cool looking costumes and designs.
  • Never experienced slow down regardless of what was happening on-screen.
  • Still has Japanese text.
  • The game lacks any real instructions or tutorials.
  • Resident jobs need more depth once you become a warrior or vassal.
  • The audio gets repetitive very quickly.  Thankfully you can turn it off.
  • Yield just isn’t that interesting of a game mechanic.
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