Love Live! School Idol Festival is a free-to-play rhythm/card collection game developed by KLab Inc. and published by Bushiroad for iOS and Android devices. It is based on the popular Love Live! School Idol Project series. Originally released in Japan on April 15, 2013, an English version was released on May 12, 2014.
The story in School Idol Festival is in a visual novel style presentation. It is fully voiced by the original Japanese cast and has translated English text. You have to unlock further chapters of the story through completing goals the game gives you (completing a certain song or reading another part of the story). Unlike regular visual novels, there are no choices to make as the player is lead through a linear story.
The story itself is about the player assuming the role as a manager of sorts for the school idol group µ's -- pronounced 'Muse'. You meet and interact with the various members of µ's including the lead up to their first live performance and various other activities. There are also side stories that are unlocked from maximizing bonds with fully Idolized students.
When playing live shows, players first choose a song to play. The player can choose what difficulty they want to play, choosing from Easy, Normal or Hard. There is also an Expert difficulty that is on a constant rotation of certain songs. Expert level songs are only available for a limited amount of time.
The game limits the player by requiring a certain amount of LP to be used per song, varied by song and difficulty. The player can increase their total amount of LP by ranking up. If a player runs out of LP but still wishes to play, they can spend one love gem to replenish their meter.
Songs are divided up into three different types, Smile, Cool and Pure. Using an Idol group that matches in type helps to increase score. Players have to choose a "member," another user, which helps in increasing stats and gains the player a small amount of friends points.
The player uses a 9-wide spread of member icons that they must then match with falling rhythm icons. Players can fail out of a song if they run out of HP by hitting late or missing notes.
There are five different types of notes that can occur during a song:
- Normal: An outlined circle that the player only needs to tap
- Hold: A rhythm icon that the player must hold, then release at the end to complete
- Dual: A rhythm icon that appears as two icons coming down at the same time with a horizontal bar in the middle. There is also a hold variation.
- Starred: Special icons with a star in the middle. You will lose extra HP if you miss these notes.
- Event Tokens: Available only during special Live Events, these icons hold a specific event token that the player collects from playing regular songs. After collecting a certain amount, the player can then cash in their event tokens to play an event song.
After the song is finished, the player is then graded on a C - S rank based on score and combo. Players can collect special rewards for completing goals in each song for score, combo and amount of times played. The rewards that can be gained are gold, friends points and love gems. Players also gain experience to help rank up.
There is also a card-collecting mechanic that ties into the player's score per song. Players can collect Idols (represented as cards) through a variety of ways, including finishing songs, competing in events and Scouting.
There are two types of scouting, Regular and Honor Student.
Regular student scouting is done through friends points, costing 100 per scout. Friends points can be gained through completing song goals, and picking friends before a song.
Honor student scouting is done with love gems, costing 5 for one scout and offering an 11 scout for 50 gems. The player also receives one free love gem for every ten honor student scouts. The game allows players to buy more love gems, offering varying in amount and price.
There are four types of members that the player can collect, represented by rarity:
- Normal: They represent the general student body of Otonokizaka Academy. These are the weakest cards that you can collect, but are also the easiest to acquire. You can acquire normal cards through playing songs and scouting with friends points.
- Rare: These cards are represented as the members of µ's. The player can also acquire these through playing songs and scouting through friends points, but the chances of drawing one are a lot lower. There are also special Rare cards that are given out during Live Events that cannot be used in your live group, but can be used for experience or sold for gold.
- Super Rare: Powerful cards that can only obtained through Honor Student scouting and Live Events. These are also only represented by members of µ's.
- Ultra Rare: The rarest cards available in the game, these are only available through Honor Student scouting. These are also only represented by members of µ's.
All the cards are also divided into three different categories, Smile, Cool and Pure. Placing members of the same type together and playing songs of the same type help to increase score.
Players can choose to level up their cards to increase their stats. They do so by discarding unneeded cards into the idol of their choice. Each idol has a level cap, which can be increased once by idolizing them. You can also raise Skill Levels on cards that have them.
By choosing to special practice a card, players can combine two of the same card for increased stats and level cap. The card art also changes to represent it.
Practicing and special practicing require gold to do so, which is acquire from completing songs and song goals. You can also collect gold from completing stories.
Periodically, special events are held where players compete to gain new cards. There have been two types of events so far:
- Token Collecting
- Score Match
Token collecting involves collecting event specific tokens in regular songs that then can be cashed in on an event song. Players then collect event points that leads to various rewards, including new cards, gold, friends points or love gems. Players also receive rewards after the event for placing high on the event's leaderboards.
Score match pits four players together as they compete to see who can score the highest in a song. Similar to token collecting, completing score matches gains you event points that can unlock rewards.
Called the Live Show, there are two different types of shows, Hits and B-Sides. B-sides include a daily hard song, as well as the Expert difficulty mode and event song. This list is of the most recent English update, as well as the aspect associated with the song.
Hits: "Song Title" - Song Type
- "Bokura no LIVE Kimi to no LIFE" - Smile
- "Yujo No-Change" - Pure
- "Snow Halation" - Cool
- "Baby Maybe Koi no Button" - Pure
- "Natsurio Egao de 1, 2, Jump!" - Smile
- "Mermaid Fiesta Vol. 1" - Cool
- "Mogyutto "Love" de Sekkinchu!" - Pure
- "Aishiteru Banzai!" - Smile
- "Wonderful Rush" - Cool
- "Oh, Love & Peace!" - Smile
- "Bokura wa Ima no Naka de" - Smile
- "WILD STARS" - Cool
- "Kitto Seishun ga Kikoeru" - Pure
- "Kaguya no Shiro de Odoritai" - Cool
- "Susume→Tomorrow" - Smile
- "No Brand Girls" - Cool
- "Wonder Zone" - Pure
- "Love Novels" - Smile
- "Korekara no Someday" - Smile
- "Shiranai Love * Oshiete Love" - Cool
- "START: DASH!!" - Smile
- "Sweet & Sweet Holiday" - Pure
- "Ai wa Taiyo jyanai?" - Smile
- "Diamond Princess no Yuustsu" - Cool
- "Love Marginal" - Smile
- "Takarmonos" - Pure
- "Paradise Live" - Cool
- "Listen to My Heart!" - Pure
- "Music S.T.A.R.T!!" - Smile
- "Anone Ganbare!" - Cool
- "LOVELESS WORLD" - Cool
- "After School NAVIGATORS" - Pure
- "LONELIEST BABY" - Cool
- "Cutie Panther" - Smile
- "Sore wa Bokutachi no Kiseki" - Smile
- "Pure Girls Project" - Pure
- "Donna Toki mo Zutto" - Pure
- "Binetsu Kara Mystery" - Cool
- "Mermaid Fiesta Vol. 2" - Smile
- "Otome Shiki Ren'ai Juku" - Pure
- "soldier game" - Cool
- "Kokuhaku Biyori, Desu!" - Pure
- "Kimi No Kuse Ni!" - Pure
- "Natsu, Owaranai De." - Smile
- "UNBALANCED LOVE" - Cool
- "Kodoku Na Heaven" Pure