Kairosoft takes on the most Japanese of institutions, the hot spring resort, with Hot Spring Story, a resort management sim that sticks to the Kairosoft formula: a cartoonish, isometric view with delightful pixel graphics hiding a back end of solid mechanics. Players take the role of the manager of a Japanese hot spring resort, challenged with the task of designing the resort, maintaining and improving its facilities, attracting customers, and keeping them happy. Efficient design makes the resort function well, but you also have to maintain the resort's natural beauty, as features such as rocks, trees, and bushes help keep the customers pleased. The cursor and isometric view interface are a bit clumsier than they have to be on a touchscreen, but it doesn't detract much from the game's fun. The Lite version lets you try the game for two full in-game years, giving you a fair taste of another great Kairosoft game.
Verdict: Hot Spring Story is a great example of the Kairosoft formula: cute pixel retro graphics, combined with solid management game mechanics.