Let's School, a new simulation game from the same developers as My Time at Portia and My Time at Sandrock, took me by surprise as it departed from their usual style. While a new direction for developer Pathea Games and publisher PM Studios, inc, I was still incredibly excited to give it a try, given how much I loved the other games.
In Let's School, you assume the role of a headmaster in a charming pixel-style simulation. Your predecessor has retired, leaving you with a rundown school building to manage. If you've ever played games like Two-Point Hospital or Two-Point Campus, grasping the initial mechanics should come easily. Fear not if you haven't, though, as Let's School features an impressive and comprehensive tutorial that becomes a lifesaver as the game progresses.
There is a sandbox mode along with a campaign mode, where you can choose between two maps. Judging from the provided information about their unique temperatures and climates, I’m hopeful that more maps will be added in the future.
Let’s School offers a decent array of customization options upon beginning, allowing you to not only personalize your character but also the school’s emblem and colors. As you advance, more customization options for other elements unlock.
Upon arrival at the neglected school, you're greeted by Ms. Lin, your assistant, and Brick Johnson, your builder. The school is in shambles, with missing walls and clutter. It leaves you to wonder what the former headmaster was up to before retiring. Thankfully, Brick is ready to help, and after some quick repairs, you set out to build your first classroom. Soon, you'll need to construct an admissions office and begin enrolling students. The initial group of students may be forgetful and also sadly mention that their parents never believed in them, so they will require some extra care and attention.
While you can hire other teachers right away, I did not find it immediately necessary since you begin with only two classes to offer. It’s also useful to know that teachers will refresh after a certain amount of time in case you get a bad batch. After the first exam, you’ll need to hire more as all four courses will become available, and new first-year students will be enrolled in new courses as their predecessors move on to more advanced ones. For the best results, you should always try to assign these courses based on the students' aspirations to improve their chances of passing their exams. You can also reassign teachers and classes until the last minute before exams, allowing for optimal planning. The countdown to exams can be a bit nerve-wracking, but they’re over pretty quickly, and you'll receive a report card to see how each student performed in each subject and their overall ranking for the school.
Let's School provides a wealth of information about your school's inner workings, far more than I can delve into here. From the headmaster's manual with seating arrangements and expected grades to overall satisfaction, finances, and grades, you can access detailed and extensive statistics. This can all get a little overwhelming if you’re not careful, but you have access to a notebook that summarizes various stats.
As you progress, you’re assigned milestones to help improve the community status of your school, and your hands will be full, managing students' satisfaction, helping teachers gain proficiency, handling cash flow, costs, and tuition, obtaining sale permits for food, and implementing various management modules for different perks just to name a few. You’ll also need to build a research room where you have an extensive skill tree to work through.
As headmaster, you not only manage the school but also cater to each student's unique interests and aspirations, making your role more complex as you strive to keep everyone satisfied. They’ll want bathrooms, recreational rooms, and various other facilities to keep things running smoothly. Despite your best efforts, though, occasionally disputes and trouble will break out, requiring a teacher to see to the situation.
Teachers play a central role in running the school, so you'll need to train them in management and teaching subjects while providing restrooms and a staff room. You'll also have to manage academic pressure, address bullying, and handle disruptive students.
The environment both inside and outside of the school, can be improved with decorations such as pictures or trees. Personally, I found the customization options in Let's School more enjoyable and far more expansive than those in other games. Occasionally cats may appear outside the school, and there is a skill that allows you to be a caretaker. They even perch on the desks sometimes, which made my heart incredibly happy.
There were a few small graphical issues I ran into but nothing game-breaking. Overall, Let's School offers a diverse and engaging experience that will keep you occupied as you bring the school back to life. With its unique blend of school management elements, this simulation game is a delightful and challenging addition to the genre, and I look forward to seeing what comes next in future updates.
Thank you to Pathea Games for the provided key.