Much safer than Hogwarts, but just as demanding.
As part of Kairosoft's ongoing quest to simulate every facet of human existence, the Japanese studio turns its all-seeing-eye to education.
As with its other endlessly infectious efforts (Game Dev Story, in particular), the aim is to become top dog in your field through a mixture of diligent resource management, astute hiring (and firing) and building the right facilities at the right time.
As a formula, you'll know what to expect by now; it's presented in the exact same adorable pixel art style of its other trio of releases and features the usual drag-and-drop mechanics and simple drop-down command interface.
But while it gives the usual impression of instant accessibility, it crucially lacks an adequate tutorial (unlike the excellent Grand Prix Story) and largely leaves you to your own devices to figure out the ins and outs of building up your educational institution.
Without an a defined set of goals to shoot for, its likely that you'll spend early hours watching pupils and teachers wandering around aimlessly, until you eventually run out of cash and dive into the help menu to figure out what you're doing wrong.
Given time, though, and Pocket Academy gets under your skin just like the other Kairosoft efforts, largely thanks to the attachment to your pupils, the satisfaction from their eventual progress and the burgeoning relationships with other pupils. It's enough to bring a tear to your eye.
Used under license from Eurogamer.
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Requires iOS 3.1 or later.
What's Hot: User friendly touch controls, forming relationships with characters, tried and true Kairosoft formula, cool 8-bit style graphics.
What's Not: Lacks a helpful tutorial, at times confusing, no HD version.