Academia: School Simulator – Prison for kids

Developed and published by Squeaky Wheel Studio Inc – January 28, 2021 (PC)
*MSRP: $19.99 – https://store.steampowered.com/app/672630/Academia__School_Simulator/

Academia: School Simulator is a pretty deep management sim about running a school. The game may seem simple at first but there are a lot of interconnected game mechanics that require planning to make proper use of.

To unlock more zones and objects, you need to research them, which takes time and money and gets expensive rather quickly.

For example, having kids in the school generate garbage on the ground. To collect the garbage, you need to hire janitors, which are unlocked once you research School Cleaning, which takes money to do so. Once you hire janitors, they will collect garbage but only deposit them into trash cans, which must be built. Once you build trash cans, they will periodically empty the trash cans by carrying the trash bags to the Garbage zone of the school. From here, a garbage truck periodically comes by and the workers will have to load the trash onto the truck. Once your school gets large enough, you will need to get dumpsters to manage all the trash bags.

There are so many interconnected elements in the game that it creates a rather complex network of stats to keep track of.

These interconnected mechanics are not the only thing you need to master to run a prestigious school. Everything costs money and managing your finances to make sure your school stays afloat is more difficult than it seems. The precarious balancing act of expanding your school, making sure it is properly equipped and staffed, and making sure your finances are not in the red make for a pretty deep and strategic management experience. Let’s not even get into the student discipline mechanics.

Make sure your school has a bathroom…or else suffer the consequences!

Overall, Academia: School Simulator is a game with simple mechanics that interconnect in deep ways, creating a complex management sim. Balancing all elements of running your school properly will take a lot of careful planning. Thankfully, the game’s learning curve is gentle enough that you can dip your toes in without getting them bitten off. Also, the students will defecate and urinate into bushes if you don’t build bathrooms and let’s just say the whole map was starting to look awfully stinky the first time I ran a school.

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