Kudos 2 is a raising sim. If you’re unfamiliar with what a raising sim is, it is when you’re given a thing, in this case a person, and told to build up various stats until you’re cut off by an arbitrary deadline. In the case of Kudos 2, it’s the ten in-game year mark. Raising sims can either be incredibly fun or frightfully dull depending on how much you care about watching numbers go up. If you’re into that sort of thing, Kudos 2 is fun. It just isn’t $20 worth of fun.
The graphics and gameplay are about as complicated as a flash game. The art isn’t bad, but it’s nothing to write home about either, even though it’s been done by comic artist Jamie McKelvie. When it comes to designing your in-game avatar, there isn’t much in the way of options: a handful of hairstyles and clothing types, with three facial types for each gender. Full disclosure: I only played the free demo. There could be more options in the full version, but as I pointed out earlier I don’t think it is worth my $20 to find out.
The gameplay, as I said, is fairly simplistic. Each day your in-game avatar goes to work. There is a variety of jobs they can choose from, but they always start out as a waiter/waitress. I’ve never been able to boost my stats enough in time to get a better job, but the list is fairly impressive — everything from a lowly guitar player to high-powered lawyer. After work, you get to choose one thing to do. It can be anything from watching TV to going out with friends or going to a kickboxing class.
While most of the game is almost offensively average, there is one aspect that really bothered me: The phone.
You see, your avatar’s in-game friends will “randomly” call you to invite you out. Of course, they will maintain radio silence for six days out of the week, but call you up the one day you have a class to attend. And then, if you turn them down they have an (in my experience) one in three chance of straight-up dumping you by way of dramatic text message. I’m sure there are internal factors I cannot see that determine this. I’ve had friends dump me after one, “No, I don’t want to spend $30 to eat at that Chinese restaurant. That’s like three days’ wages for me,” and others that didn’t even get a snubbed marker after I blew them off every time they called for the entire demo.
This game is a niche game really. It fills that niche well enough, but there are better games of its kind out there (namely, the original raising sim, The Sims). Play through the demo if making numbers go up is your thing, but I would suggest not spending the full $20 on it. Right now it appears to be on sale for $5. Still not sure it would be worth it, but if you’re into that sort of thing you can get it here.