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Dream House Days

For: Android   Also on: iPhone, iPad

Free-to-play daze

Product: Dream House Days | Developer: Kairosoft | Format: Android | Genre: Simulation | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Dream House Days Android, thumbnail 1
It's unsurprising that management sim god Kairosoft has begun experimenting with free-to-play, given the business model's current relentless strangehold on mobile.

Beastie Bay ventured timidly into the world of IAPs, letting you remove ads with real money, and now Dream House Days has taken a few more tentative steps by making multiple in-app purchases available.

Much of this is ill-advised, serving only to undermine your enjoyment - but, fortunately, the fun still shines through for the most part.

It's so dreamy

Dream House Days is essentially Kairosoft's take on The Sims, as you aim to fill your apartment building with multiple happy tenants eager to let you meddle with their lives. In true Kairosoft fashion, the attention to detail and number of customisation options is commendable.

You can build apartments exactly to the specs you want them, with multiple rooms housing different types of furnishings. Over time you'll be able to build more apartments, research new furniture, and watch as your tenants get married, move in with each other, and acquire kids or pets.

Building apartments is great fun at first, but it soon becomes a bit of hassle. It doesn't help that moving through the build menus is an almighty slog.

But this is only one part of the full experience. Looking after your tenants by making sure they get good jobs and educations, and are generally happy, is the real aim.

In the end, it's all about weighing the upkeep of your building against the amount of rent you're bringing in. With all this going on, you'll rarely get a break.

Days and days and days...

Dream House Days is completely free to download, and you can play through it comfortably without having to pay a dime. Up to a point.

There are IAPs to get rid of the adverts, to add landscape mode, and to remove the recommendations at the start of the game - all of which you can live without purchasing happily.

But there are also IAPs that unlock more integral features - such as Fast mode, which essentially speeds up the processes in the game. Levelling up your jobs and items in the unadulterated game takes an absolute age, and Kairosoft has clearly designed the game this way in order to maximise its income.

... and months and months

After a while, it also becomes apparent that you'll need to spend real money on 'tickets' if you're going to get the most out of the game.

These tickets will get you specific job types and apartment sizes. This doesn't happen for a long while - we're talking ten hours or more - but it's still worth noting.

Oddly enough, Kairosoft appears to be fully aware that this ticket system is a bit icky, as the character who sells you tickets has a nasty frown on his face, and says, "Heh heh," in a menacing manner, when you choose to spend money.

Tying a slightly squint ribbon on this package is a friends system that allows you to connect with other players around the world and earn tickets simply by playing the game. It feels extremely throwaway, and doesn't add anything at all.

Dream House Days feels and plays like classic Kairosoft, but eventually the tacked-on free-to-play elements begin to nose their way into the experience. Hopefully, you'll have had your fill of the game before that happens.
Dream House Days
Reviewer photo
Mike Rose | 1 February 2013
Yet another blinder from Kairosoft, although certain in-app purchases let Dream House Days down somewhat
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