I watched my school descend into an OG Battle Royale situation in this Japanese academic management sim

Smurfette giving a rousing speach in Let's School Homeroom
(Image credit: Pathea Games)

As far as chaotic management sims are concerned, Let's School Homeroom is by far one of the strangest I've come across. Not least because it gives you the ability to hatch a giant panda from an "egg", but also because there's a chance your students will full-on riot, should you fail to meet their needs. 

That's how I turned my school from a pillar of the community, into a blood bowl akin to the terrors of the original Battle Royale movie. And I loved every minute of it, even the bits that didn't make any sense.

What kind of twisted management sim is this?

Coming from Pathea Games—the same studio as My Time at Sandrock, and a Japanese folk horror RPG known as Ikai—you could easily mistake Let's School Homeroom for a MySims mod for Two Point Campus. The characters have that doll-like, chibi MySims charm to their appearance and movement, while the overarching goal of the game is to design and manage a prestigious school, just like Two Point. Or, in my case, at least have your students get good enough grades that the place doesn't shut down altogether.

On opening the career mode—conveniently, the only mode available in the early game—I was tasked with creating a responsible Headmaster for the school. Since it gave me the option, I went all out with a blue-skinned, blonde-haired Smurfette character. Apparently, she was the most responsible character I could think of at the time, which speaks volumes about my teaching credentials. She was also very long, because if you're going to allow odd character creation you should expect creepy longbois to arise. 

In the beginning, there was darkness

My first objective was to clear up the hellscape that had been left by the previous faculty. The huge cracks in the walls and overgrown classrooms made me wonder if the game was set on the Battle Royale island itself. But now wasn't the time to wonder; I had to get the classrooms set up. Once I'd employed some staff members and accepted my gaggle of rosy-cheeked students, it was a matter of tediously assigning staff to each period so they could actually get some teaching underway.

The tutorial never told me I needed to add an actual light source for learning to occur, though, so the students ended up having to sign a window petition. How they were able to see the list to sign it is beyond me, but just know that there were seeds of unrest being laid even in the early game.

The children somehow signed a petition for windows. (Image credit: Pathea Games)

The first major issue came in the fact that, despite having followed the tutorial to the word, my staff couldn't be trained nearly fast enough to keep up with the students' rate of learning. It meant that pretty much every student, except about two, was expected to fail the semester if I didn't pull my finger out.

Where did I go wrong? I'm still not entirely sure. I think I was supposed to assign more staff to the research room. Instead, I spent all my money decorating rather than paying attention to my kids' projected grades. What else was I supposed to do when the game let me—a notorious decorator—choose the goal of making my school the most beautiful of them all? It was practically begging me to ignore the wider picture if you ask me. 

The problem was exacerbated somewhat by the fact that certain members of staff were just mooching around, lazing all over the desks, and getting the zoomies in the playground. 

The idle staff panda lazing around. (Image credit: Pathea Games)

Idle staff issues

Oh right, I should introduce you to the other very out-of-place, seemingly pointless mechanic of hatching animals from eggs. In your Headmaster's inventory, you get some little trinkets to start off with. One of those is a cat egg, and another is a panda egg. Both are glorious when hatched, but for some reason, the panda moves exactly like a cat, only with a five times bigger footprint when it climbs onto students' desks for cuddles. You can also adopt cats when the dialogue option comes up.

Yes I want to adopt the cat. Is that even a question?

I just love that in our little furry friends' character bio they are listed as "idle staff". What that means is, while they look like they should be improving my school score with their little, boopable noses, they give absolutely zero bonus to the students' entertainment variable from what I could tell. Incidentally, that's where I encountered my second major hurdle. While Smurfette beavered away, decorating her office and trying to figure out how on earth to get the staff's teaching skill up to scratch, I soon realised the students were colluding outside the front door.

The children are revolting in Let's School Homeroom

The children are revolting. (Image credit: Pathea Games)

That's when the delinquency set in

Due to the lack of entertainment around the school, they'd moved straight past the point of signing petitions in the dark and were now holding a protest—controller placards waving and all. Begrudgingly, I sent Smurfette off to disperse the ingrates. And went on trying to understand how to placate them. And while providing entertainment for a bunch of prepubescent activists might sound like an easy task, it turned out they weren't interested in seeing teachers slipping on the thousands of banana skins now strewn across the halls.

From one of the students, Smurfette had to confiscate a contraband item they'd brought in from the playground. It was a frog. Now, I don't know how strict they are about smuggling small, slimy creatures into Japanese schools, but my teachers probably would have been just as shocked and dismayed. A disgrace on their family name, and I let it happen. How was I ever going to get control of such blatant, amphibian-esque hooliganism?

The cats were off running amok, and the build menu didn't seem to have any entertainment options at all. It all happened so fast after this point. One minute the students were peacefully stumbling through the dark classrooms, looking for their protest signs… the next they were at each other's throats. Fights began breaking out all over the facility. Kids turned on their friends in a kind of bloodthirsty ecstasy that could only be attributed to extreme levels of boredom. 

Smurfette just didn't seem to care anymore, and neither did I. So rather than trying to train my staff members, I let them sit in the dark trying to muddle through algebra class as the children gave it the old one-two punch in the playground. 

(Image credit: Pathea Games)

Me? I went on obliviously decorating the place up and hatched about a thousand pointless cat eggs—some of which turned into gargantuan felines that towered over the bloodied battleground.

At least with a well-decorated playground and the adorable cat-pocalypse inbound, I could wave goodbye to my school with a line from the legendary picture that is the Battle Royale movie:

"It's beautiful, even though it's where everyone died."

Katie Wickens
Hardware Writer

Screw sports, Katie would rather watch Intel, AMD and Nvidia go at it. Having been obsessed with computers and graphics for three long decades, she took Game Art and Design up to Masters level at uni, and has been demystifying tech and science—rather sarcastically—for three years since. She can be found admiring AI advancements, scrambling for scintillating Raspberry Pi projects, preaching cybersecurity awareness, sighing over semiconductors, and gawping at the latest GPU upgrades. She's been heading the PCG Steam Deck content hike, while waiting patiently for her chance to upload her consciousness into the cloud.