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Tap That App
Build your empireTwo games from developer Kariosoft challenge you to build a business using old school graphics. Sound boring? Don't be fooled--you will be amazed at just how fun and addictive these unique games can be.
Welcome to Tap that App, IÃ¯Â¿Â½m Jason Parker and this is the show where we cover the hottest apps in the mobile space. There are several high-end games at the iTunes App Store with recognizable names, flashy graphics, innovative touch-screen controls, and subsequently high price tags. But a couple of games from developer Kairosoft have been huge successes without the glitz and glamour of the big-name titles. In fact the graphics look like these games are from the early 90s, but that doesn't stop them from being very well-thought out and incredibly addictive. Kairosoft's first hit was Game Developer's Story. This game lets you act as the boss of your own game development company, where you'll develop games, introduce them to the market, buy advertising, and try to make a profit. You'll need to hire the best and brightest, train them to improve their skills, and hope that you'll get the perfect combination to make a hit game. As you play, you'll be able to buy licenses to new game consoles from made-up companies to see how your games do on new hardware. Your employees develop skills and level up, and you can hire young guns you find by getting your receptionist to put out job ads. Though this may sound more like work than gaming, Game Developer's Story is surprisingly addictive. We're willing to bet that before long you'll be waiting on the edge of your seat to see if your game wins the in-game annual conference called GameDex. Frankly, a business simulator has never been this fun. Game Developer's Story goes for 99 cents at the app store and is a load of fun for just about anyone. Kairosoft's second game just came out recently and offers a similar setup to Game Developer's Story, but this time you run a Japanese Spa. It's called Hot Springs Story, and your challenge is to build a successful business around making a popular relaxing getaway for hard-working people. Hot Springs Story lets you build out your spa with comfy rooms, restaurants, and shops to keep your guests happy. You'll also be able to buy hot tubs, massage chairs, and other features to keep them coming back for more rest and relaxation time. Just like Game Developer's Story, you'll need to commit some of your profits to advertising, but you'll also need to invest in businesses around town to make sure you have plenty of guests coming in. More guests mean more money, and before long you'll be expanding your business into a mega spa. Also like Game Developer's Story, you can compete in yearly competitions against other spas to see how you rank. The higher your rank, the more people will show up at your doors. It should be clear that the two games have a lot of similarities, but there is enough variation here to make them both very entertaining. Hot Springs Story is a new title that goes for $3.99 in the iTunes App Store. You might be asking, do I really want to spend my time playing business simulators? Well, I'm here to tell you we've put these two games through their paces, and we can honestly say you should tap both of these apps right away. ThatÃ¯Â¿Â½s it for this week's show, but if you have any suggestions, send them to Tap That App at cnet.com. I'm Jason Parker and we'll see you next time.