Sawbuck Gamer

Dream House Days

Tenants, Anyone?

Kairosoft’s landlord simulation needs more square footage.

By Jason Reich • February 11, 2013

Sawbuck Gamer is our daily review of a free or cheap ($10 or less) game.

In their previous simulation games, the virtual crack peddlers at Kairosoft have let players run a software company, manage a team of Grand Prix drivers, and explore the outer reaches of space. Now they’re back with their most incredible, mettle-testing challenge yet: property management.

Dream House Days keeps the magic formula—sow the seeds of success, reap, upgrade, repeat—pretty much intact. This time around, you’re decorating apartments in order to attract tenants, so that you can earn more rent, so that you can build nicer apartments to attract more tenants. You continue until your family discovers your cobweb-festooned remains clutching a phone in your malnourished, skeletal hand. The extra wrinkle here is that your building’s residents all have lives of their own. Certain furnishings will encourage them to find love or seek better jobs, which makes them happier and therefore more likely to drop some dough on a sweet crib. Eventually, they’ll marry, have families, and need a bigger place to live. It’s a bit like The Sims, except you don’t have to tell your little people when to go to the bathroom.

Everyone has a favorite Kairosoft game. This one is not mine. Juggling both your building resources and your residents’ stats feels a bit thematically incongruous, and the game is so cluttered with menus and notifications that it’s hard to keep track of what’s going on. Personally, I’m partial to Epic Astro Story, but if real estate’s your thing, Dream House Days could be a micromanager’s delight.

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  • Effigy_Power

    It’s kind of sad that this is so repetitive. I found that it was quite good at the beginning, but then really devolved into exactly the rinse and repeat thing that Jason talks about.
    Also, the game doesn’t scale up nicely. On a 10.1inch screen it looks downright atrocious. I recommend to make the game-area bigger rather than just upscale the whole window. With a bigger screen, a lot of scrolling around could have been avoided. Instead I get massive pixels.
    Small complaint, but one that seems easily avoidable.

  • http://twitter.com/HttpLovecraft Http Lovecraft

    I was hooked on Game Dev Story for weeks, but the total randomness of it as you get into the ‘endgame’ wore me down.  HOW MANY BLACKOUTS CAN ONE STUDIO HAVE??

    Dungeon Village was really fun but gets too hard if you don’t upgrade every single hero to whatever the last class is (a class that looks stupid).

  • DrFlimFlam

    Played tons of Game Dev Story and GP Story and enjoyed both, but the formula eventually wears thin.

  • Mercenary_Security_number_4

    I’ve somehow completely missed being exposed to Kairosoft games.  Now I have a new android developer to explore.  So even if I end up not liking this particular game, this article is already one of my favorite sawbucks ever.  Thank you.