Kairosoft has done an admirable job defining itself. When the developer’s name comes up, it’s difficult to think of anything other than simulation or management games. Its latest title, March to a Million, puts us in charge of yet another agency. This time, it’s about preparing top musical talent and helping them climb the charts. Your goal? To do as well as you can over a 20 year period. Which is easy, once you build up a stable of stars.
What’s nice about March to a Million is that your standard Kairosoft game tactics don’t really apply here. While this isn’t the first management simulation where you need to manage and improve people to reach new heights, it doesn’t progress in the same way titles like Grand Prix Story, Tennis Club Story or Pocket League Story. Instead, it’s more of a slow burn. You need to be patient before taking off.
The first hour or two of March to a Million is essentially a tutorial. You’ll be able to scout and hire one performer and determine their style. This style determines which songs they’ll be best suited for and their stat ranges. You’re given a chance to see how the first few training methods influence stats, can sign with one of the smaller three talent agencies, take some early bookings, write some songs and perform some concerts. You’re given an opportunity to find and set a pace and pattern, one in which you write a song and train simultaneously, perform concerts and bookings while the song is on the charts, collect a massive payout when the song falls off the charts and then use the funds from that single to invest in a new song and more training.
It’s once you move to a larger office that March to a Million really comes into its own. At this point, you’re able to put together a more fulfilling strategy. Heading into bigger offices lets you manage more stars; when you have more than one singer that the world opens up to you. It’s than that you begin a rotation that allows you to constantly be setting up ingénues, people at their peak and veterans. At this point, you can begin building a stockpile to fund the training of new arrivals at the agency, preparing their futures while letting ones you’ve already developed coast into their golden years. You stop relying on every booking to succeed. I’ve also noticed that more advanced performers develop auras more often when not pressed into constant servitude, which lets you put them through training programs that stopped paying off long ago and actually get stat increases. More active stars make your agency stronger.
Of course, no performer stays in the business forever. When you see people hitting stat ceilings and getting demoralized in March to a Million, they can head into retirement involuntarily or by choice. New recruits can pick up some of their past fanbase, which is helpful, but not the only boon available. Even these people that are gone can aid your cause and help with a successful strategic circle of stardom. You can add fallen stars to your backup band. While this requires paying an initial fee and will keep them from participating in super group performances, it does guarantee you a good songwriter for future tracks. While it is better to have an artist create their own tunes, as it means more fans, calling upon a veteran means certain creative spheres will automatically be filled and applied during the development process. Super group performances mean more fans and money.
It’s this perfect cycle through which March to a Million helps you find your way. New, established and retired performers all help propel you to greater heights. There’s certainly a challenge here; it’s possible to fail, though not likely, which means you need to be wise with your training plans, investments and performances. This also means there’s an undeniable satisfaction that comes from seeing your group of singers succeed. Watching the wheel of fate turn and stars rise and fall is a delight.