Let's School Review | PC

Let's School let's you experience all the joys and stress fueled horrors of school but this time, as an underpaid headmaster.

By DShelley, Posted 06 Feb 2024

Ahh, yes, school, that time in our life when we have to wake up every morning, don our school uniforms, and think about going back to bed for 8 hours every day for 12 years straight. For some, school is a wonderful place filled with friends, knowledge, and achievements, but for most, it's an absolute slog of both stress and monotony. Have you ever wondered what it was like to switch places? Be the one running the school instead of the one going to it? Look no further than Let's School, an adorably deceptive school management simulator that will give you a taste of what it's like to be a school headmaster.

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So, who exactly are the masterminds behind Let's School? Well, none other than Pathea Games, who you may know as the developers behind both My Time at Portia and My Time at Sandrock, two games that show off just how well this Chinese indie video game developer handles simulation titles. The studio is based in Chongqing, China, and has an already impressive roster of games under its belt, including the two previously mentioned My Time Life sims. However, many may recognize the studio for their first release, Planet Explorers, which was successfully crowdfunded on Kickstarter and was successfully released on 8 November 2016. Sadly, the game is sitting on a mixed rating on Steam, but Let's School shows that the studio truly shines when it focuses on smaller projects.

The story for Let's School goes as follows - your favorite school from when you were a child has fallen into disrepair after the previous incompetent headmaster tried his best to keep it afloat. Sadly, this does seem to mean that the school building is incredibly damaged, and there are little to no amenities for students. It seems that, hopefully, after acquiring all the necessary qualifications, you have decided to finally take up the mantle of headmaster and restore your once favorite school back to its former glory. However, this is no easy task, and there are many difficult challenges ahead of you, but have no fear, as you won't be alone in this. You will also have the bright and enthusiastic Ms. Lin to help you along the way!

We begin this adventure the same way as many other titles - By making an adorable little headmaster. Unfortunately, Let's School doesn't have the most extensive character customization options; most of the options available are quite robust and offer you a few versatile options. The stripped-down nature of the character creator also feels somewhat reminiscent of old Nintendo DS games, which isn't a bad thing and definitely makes the game stand out against other school simulation titles.

However, it should be noted that there also doesn't appear to be a way for you to edit your character after creating them, which, while somewhat disappointing, does make sense as your headmaster's appearance has little to do with the game, unlike your school's appearance. Aside from creating a headmaster, you will also need to design your student's uniform and school emblem, and just like your headmaster, your options are limited on uniforms, but players can go all in when it comes to their emblem.

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With that out of the way, it's time for gameplay. Oftentimes, tutorials in-game are nothing to write home about, and we'd usually just brush them off and not give them a second thought, but that's not the case for Let's School. It is highly recommended you play with tutorials, as while the game does have similarities to other school sims, it's still very much its own game. The game doesn't dump a whole bunch of random tutorials on you and then kick you to the wolves while wearing sailor uniforms; instead, Let's School gradually implements them as you need them. It should also be noted that the game doesn't just explain the process in text form but often encourages you to learn the mechanics in a practical sense by actually having you place things down and interact with the UI.

There are two major things you can do in terms of customization to your school, and that is Demolish and Construct. In the early days of Let's School, you will need to use your space and resources effectively. This means before you can build a giant 7 story hub of academic pursuits, you need to start with a humble 1 classroom. Whenever you build an interior, you will first need to dictate what that interior will be, whether it is a tearoom, a bathroom or a classroom, just to name a few of the available facilities.

Depending on what you want an interior to be, you will need to meet the minimum requirements for that facility: For a classroom, it means having at least 1 blackboard, 1 podium, 1 lunchbox rack and 6 desks. You can of course add in as many as you want but just remember to use space effectively. Probably one of the most important but least mentioned requirements for classrooms is lighting; most facilities will need to be well-illuminated, or students and staff will complain.

As for Demolition, as you would expect, it acts the opposite of construction. You will mainly use Demolition in Let's School to readjust and rebuild certain rooms and facilities to match your needs, and you will be surprised by just how often you will find yourself demolishing something because you don't need it anymore. In a more likely scenario, it is because you have bitten off more than you can chew and now need to sell stuff because funds are running low.

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Great, you have a classroom; now what? Well, now it's time to get students. The first thing you will need to do is reach out to your community and earn their favor; you do this by enrolling a student of their choice and pledging to reach certain goals. From there, you will regularly get student applications. Now, each student who applies to your school will have both positive and negative traits that will affect how they interact with the school, if a student prefers to pack a lunch, then that lessens the burden of providing food for students. As for negative traits, sometimes certain students will be forgetful, meaning that they learn at a much slower pace and may require extra lessons. However, you don't need to enroll every student you see and you have the choice to enroll students who are more beneficial to your school.

Now, you can't just have a school with just students; you will also need to hire Teachers. Much like students, you don't need to hire every teacher you come across. Teachers will have various stats that will also dictate how well they will be able to teach your students. Some teachers may have a high teaching proficiency, but this will also likely mean that they are more expensive. As your students progress through their years, you will also need to assign better teachers who are better equipped to handle that class's requirements. Luckily, some teachers can be trained, which means that you can manually increase one of their four stats - stats: Teaching Proficiency, Cooking Proficiency, Management Proficiency, and Research Proficiency. It is more effective to focus on increasing what the teacher is best at, as you may find them dragging behind significantly if you decide to go the Jack of all Trades route.

Along with Teachers, you will also have to hire staff, who are just as important as teachers because, unlike teachers, who only really need to focus on teaching proficiency, staff needs to focus on everything else. There will be four different types of staff you can hire: Security, Chef, Manager, and Salesperson. Chefs, as you would expect, focus on providing food for students; security stops criminals and delinquents from entering your school. Management helps in the managerial department and makes sure things are running smoothly, and finally, a Salesperson will essentially help with your school's funding and finances. It is highly recommended you swap out both old staff and teachers frequently as many of them can't be trained, and the needs of your school will change from semester to semester, and the better your school, the more applications you will receive.

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Another important aspect you will need to manage in Let's School is your students' schedule. The schedule is what dictates what they will be learning and when they will be learning. The student schedule allows you to plan the upcoming week. There are regular lessons that can easily be changed or swapped out or mandatory lessons; these are a lot stricter and will require the teacher to have the necessary teaching proficiency for that lesson. At the end of the semester, your students will need to participate in exams, and this will show you how well you have taught them. You can also see who will fail in your class based on the list of potential failures shown in the classroom statistics, and you should try to keep failures to a minimum as the more of your students pass, the better your ratings and rewards you will receive at the end of the semester.

From this, you can probably deduce that Let's School is a pretty solid School simulator, but what makes it stand out? What makes it stand out amongst others? Nothing and that's not a bad thing. Let's School is a game that fully understands what it is and what it requires, and it isn't trying anything new or revolutionary because it doesn't need to. It is just a well-made school sim that is balanced, polished, and fun to play. This means that the game is a bit generic in terms of gameplay but is still filled to the brim with adorable charm that makes the game feel far more cohesive than other experiences. The game doesn't overwhelm you with mechanics and doesn't give you more problems than you need. It still has its stresses and challenges, but that comes with the territory.

While Let's School doesn't knock it out of the park in terms of gameplay, its style and presentation cannot be beat. The game is adorable and has a lovely low poly flat color art style that just feels so nostalgic. The game's art direction was clearly inspired by the old handheld DS, which makes sense as Let's School also feels like it would have been a smash hit if it was released back then. The game looks warm and welcoming and overall just emphasizes just how approachable it is as a whole.

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Overall, Let's School is simply wonderful to play. The game is incredibly easy to pick up, and it makes sure that you learn the mechanics at a relaxed pace. Sadly, the game doesn't exactly have the most unique mechanics, but in all honesty, it is incredibly solid as it stands. Let's School is great for someone who wants to dip their toes into the School simulator genre or someone who wants something not too complicated and has an appreciation for handheld consoles of days past.

Daman Shelley (@UndeadandTired)
Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information

Let's School


Platform(s): PC
Publisher(s): Pathea, PM Studios
Developer(s): Pathea
Genres: Simulation
Themes: Building, Design & Illustration, Management
Release Date: 2024-02-06

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