let's school review
Screenshot by Siliconera

Review: Education Is a Business in Let’s School

Simulation games can either be an idyllic reimagining of real life or an unerringly accurate, for better or for worse, depiction of reality. Let’s School combines the two in a game that encapsulates the nightmarish bureaucracy of being a headmaster in an Asian private school with none of the rewards that come with a career in education. Though it’s fun and the ideas are solid, issues with the coding and tuning can make this school totally uncool. (Yes, it hurt me to make that joke.)

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Let’s School is a rags-to-riches story in which you play as the headmaster of a run-down school. Your goal, of course, is to transform it into the best education institution in the region. You can customize things from the students’ uniforms to the crest, as well as build your own school from scratch. Most of your rooms will look the same, but the lack of routing means that you don’t have to worry about giving your students too much space. The potential for making a Spartan school focused only on stuffing in as many students, teachers, and resources as possible is very high thanks to this. It’s quite close to reality in that way.

let's school playground

Screenshot by Siliconera

You can choose to accept students from a variety of districts, all with their own aspirations and traits. For example, the kids from Theater Boulevard are more prone to fighting and bullying. Meanwhile, kids from the Wealthy Suburbs have the Bad At Everything trait, which makes them slower in classes. But because their parents are rich, it’s advantageous to accept them into the school so that you can earn more money. The more districts you unlock, the more students want to get in at once. It can be a headache to organize the classes and timetables so that everyone learns what they need to get into their schools, but that’s honestly the best part of Let’s School.

let's school timetables

Screenshot by Siliconera

I would like to emphasize that it’s not the idea of the kids getting into their school of choice that’s the best part. It’s in the micromanaging and min-maxing. Yes, it’s great to see the kids succeed. Yes, it feels nice to train a bad teacher into a more useful one. But it’s hard to feel any attachment to anybody, including your own player character. The only times you really have to interact with students is when they’re being naughty and you send someone to deal with them. I know that you’re supposed to be the headmaster and not the teacher. Even in real life, I don’t think most headmasters or principals are that close to the students. But it does make the little “cute” mechanics like giving speeches or taking graduation photos feel like chores rather than a touching or meaningful moment.

let's school speech

Screenshot by Siliconera

If there is one thing that really breaks the game for me, it’s in the coding and bugs. There are a few issues such as the game not recognizing you dismissed a teacher until you save, exit to main menu, and then open your save again. The tuning and RNG in the game can be awful. I spent an entire in-game year and even headhunted, for a Humanities teacher. I literally found no one, causing my kids’ grades to plummet. Some lines are still in Chinese, which is fine for me because I can read it. But it makes the game look incomplete. However, the most glaring issue for me is in how the game automatically ages up my entire classroom instead of either moving my students to the year above, or letting me organize everyone myself.

Let me explain what I mean. I organized my school so that all the first years are on the first floor, the second years on the second, and the third years on the third. However, every time the game moves my kids up a year, they remain in the same classroom. So all the new second years are still on the first floor and all the first years coming in will be on the third floor, since they take over the old third years’ classrooms. This really bothers me, because it messes up the layout I have of the school. The game automatically naming my classes is irritating too because depending on where I am in fixing the students’ classes, I might end up with a Class 2-8 even though I don’t have that many second-year classrooms.

I’m not exactly a control freak kind of person in these games. I play with Free Will on in The Sims, for example. So I’m alright with a certain level of agency from whatever I’m the god of. But the lack of agency when it comes to basic things like naming my classrooms had me ripping my hair out every new semester. How I organized my school feels like a really stereotypical way to do so. So it’s unfathomable to me that a simulation game that’s supposed to let me experience life as a headmaster isn’t able to re-enact one of the most basic functions of a school.

While Let’s School is a lot of fun and has a lot of cute ideas, its implementation can sometimes be rough. It definitely feels more for people who want to play a business simulator, rather than a more hands-on one. Though easy to pick up, it can turn monotonous fairly quickly, even after you unlock new mechanics such as talking to other schools or exploring the regions around you. There are victory conditions you can work towards. However, you can go about it passively since all three of them are so linked to the way the game naturally encourages you to play. Let’s School does not feel like a game you can enjoy for hours on end, but you’ll certainly have a good time while you’re in the early stages. In that sense, it feels more like being a student than being a headmaster.

Let’s School is available for Windows PC via Steam.

Let's School

Dive into the exhilarating role of a headmaster entrusted to revive your alma mater! Beyond just bricks and mortar, train teachers, recruit students, and pioneer clubs. Sculpt your school into a unique educational haven! Let's School!

Let's School is a cute game that makes organizing timetables and classrooms fun, but the charm doesn't last long before it becomes a monotonous routine.

Food for Thought
  • I do not recommend entering Headmaster Mode to move around your school like it's Minecraft. The camera is so fast even on the slowest setting that it made me nauseous.
  • Seriously, did I somehow teleport to Silicon Valley without noticing it? I played for another few semesters after writing this review and STILL never saw a Humanities teacher I could hire.
  • The animals that you can adopt are cute but they're pretty useless.

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Stephanie Liu
Stephanie is a senior writer who has been writing for games journalism and translating since 2020. After graduating with a BA in English and a Certificate in Creative Writing, she spent a few years teaching English and history before fulfilling her childhood dream of becoming a writer. In terms of games, she loves RPGs, action-adventure, and visual novels. Aside from writing for Siliconera and Crunchyroll, she translates light novels, manga, and video games.