Tokyo Tattoo Girls Review – Strategic Misstep (Vita)

November 16, 2017Written by Cameron Teague

It’s often interesting to see what niche games developers decide to bring over, as you look at some and wonder just how much of an audience it will find outside of Japan. Tokyo Tattoo Girls¬†from developer Sushi Typhoon Games is one such game. It will have that audience who will love it for sure, but is there enough there to appeal to a more wide range of people? Read our full Tokyo Tattoo Girls review below to find out.

Tokyo Tattoo Girls is a strategy game where the Tokyo Government has allowed girls with special powers to live in their designated region, free of government control. Players take on the role of one of five different girls and must help one of them to take over all 23 wards and then escape the confines of Tokyo. As a tattoo master, your player is just the right person to help these girls achieve their goal. There really isn’t much of a story here to be honest, as you never get enough information on how Tokyo got into this situation, and aside from some humorous moments at the beginning, there just isn’t really anything interesting to be found here.

Maintain Your Honor

Gameplay, if you so choose to call it that, boils down to a basic strategy game where players must try to take over the entire board through various commands, such as recruiting from the various wards to decrease their armies or decreasing skirmishes for a time being with different wards. As time passes, your armies will start to invade different wards and it is up to you to manage your time between recruiting new members and hiding your presence from rival bosses. As your presence increases in a ward, there is a chance for raising an alarm. If an alarm does sound, your honor meter will decrease. If this falls to zero, you lose the game. You can increase your honor through commands and will spend your time in game basically managing your honor meter until you take over all the wards.

Honestly, nothing is really explained all that well up front and I had a lot of trial and error before I really got used to the systems in place here. It really is on you to take your time to learn every little nuance to the game, because your honor can deplete rather quickly, even on the easier difficulty setting, if you don’t manage your time and your PM, which is needed to use skills, and increases over time on it’s own or through briefcases that appear at random during your play through. Time can be paused or sped up as you play, so you need to make sure to use this ability to really plan your next move.

Girls in Tokyo with Tattoos

Tokyo Tattoo Girls does have boss battles, which was a great opportunity to let players actually do something more than micromanage a map. Sadly, however, these are nothing more than meeting up with the boss, responding to her with one of three choices, and then having an automated dust up with said boss, which I never lost. In fact, I am not entirely sure what the choice system before the fight actually does, as my choice never seemed to change the outcome of the fight. There is also a tattoo system, as you might suspect from the game title, that allows you to spend PM on tattoos for your girl. Each tattoo gives a different effect, such as increased charm in different wards, or increased PM. The tattoos actually look great on the girls backs, and are needed to help you complete the game, especially on the harder difficulty setting.

If you are looking for a game you can pick up and put down in short spurts, then Tokyo Tattoo Girls might just be perfect for you. There is a good strategy system to be found here, just really nothing else. The story is almost nonexistent and there really aren’t enough options here to build upon the strategy, or give you something to break it up a bit. If you are OK with the lack of options and just want to take over Tokyo and look at some nicely detailed tattoos, then Tokyo Tattoo Girls should be on your radar. Just don’t expect much more outside of that, because there isn’t anything.


Tokyo Tattoo Girls review code provided by publisher. Version 1.00 reviewed on Vita. For more information on scoring please see our Review Policy here.

3.5
  • Short and sweet strategy
  • Detailed tattoos look great
  • Not enough depth to keep it interesting
  • What story?
  • Severely overpriced at $30
  • Real lack of gameplay options