I somehow got caught up playing Saibai Shounen (栽培少年), a game about, well, growing guys. They’re mandrakes, to be specific, but yeah, you’re planting and growing guys! I found out about the game through Kinako, an illustrator who worked on series such as on Gatchaman Crowds and Touken Ranbu, who was drawing new characters for the game.
I wasn’t able to find any information in English so here’s a basic guide:
Getting the app (Android):
The app is region locked but there are a few ways to get it – I personally used QooApp, which is an app that takes the APK of many region locked games from Japan, China, Korea etc, and allows you to install them easily. Just search “mandrake boy” in QooApp and you can either download it in Japanese or Korean.
Another alternative is to google for an APK downloader and get it that way, pasting in the Play Store URL: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.nexision.mandrakeboys
If you don’t know how to install APK paks there’s a bunch of guides online. I use Airdroid to transfer and install of APK from my computer to device – it allows me to wirelessly transfer files from the computer to device, without any cables.
Edit: As of the latest version 1.9.1, the Friends tab has been moved to the menu and been replaced with the Shop tab.
The gameplay is fairly simple; it’s one of those games that rely on the passing of time rather than strategy. You grow mandrakes in your garden, when you grow a certain amount of a mandrake there’s a chance you’ll grow a special one. Each of these mandrakes have their own personalities and stories you can unlock, as well as gorgeous illustrations.There’s over a 100 mandrakes currently in the Japanese version.
The menu bar at the bottom is as follows: 花園 – Flower garden, 合成 – Synthesis, 散歩 – Stroll, タウン – Town, ショップ – Shop, メニュー – Menu. The top menu bar is kinda self explanatory, but it’s the types of mandrakes you’ve collected, illustrations collected, coins, stars.
花園 – Flower garden
You get three planters to start off with, a fourth planter can be unlocked with 500 stars. Planters with the shovel icon means they’re ready to be harvested. You get coins for each mandrake harvested; the rarer the mandrake, the more coins it’s worth.
When a black seed icon appears that means you’ll have to plant a new seed; if you have seeds that are still growing, don’t worry, they won’t be replaced. You can choose from the free seed (normal random) that’s the top left, pink seed, or choose specific seeds that costs coins or stars. When you tap a seed you can see which mandrakes you’ve acquired and any missing spaces. It also notes how long a seed lasts and how long mandrakes can take. Using the right pic as an example, the seed lasts 10 minutes (10分）, while the mandrakes can take between 10 seconds to 6 hours to grow (10秒～６時間). Once you’ve planted one, tap the planter to see how long a seed’s effect will last.
There’s an option to use a watering can on the seeds to make them fully grown and harvest ready. You can gain more watering cans by login bonuses or by gifting with friends.
The sprinkler on the top left is able to be activated every 4 hours. It reduces the growth time of all your seeds by 5 minutes. Activate it after you’ve harvested and planted new seeds. To manually activate the sprinkler you can pay 40 stars by pressing 今すぐ補充. Upgrade the sprinkler so it activates quicker and has stronger effect by clicking アップグレード.
Ladybirds appear now and then and you need to tap them to keep them away from your garden – you’ll be rewarded with coins or the occasional star.
合成 – Synthesis
Unlocked after you obtain 4 different illustrations, here you can create special mandrakes. On the left, you can spin the normal gacha every 8 hours for free or pay 2000 coins for a spin, this rolls out 1-3 normal nutrient supplements you use to grow special mandrakes. On the right, is the rare gacha which needs 200 stars for a single roll. You can get 1-2 rare nutrient supplements or a mix seed.
If you click on the pouch on the top left it opens a menu showing how many materials you own. To the side of each ingredient is two buttons; 材料ミックス – material mix, which allows you to mix materials to obtain something else, and 材料売却 – material disposal, which allows you to sell materials for coins. The material mix for the normal nutrient supplement has a 50% chance to dispense a rare normal supplement, while the rare nutrient supplement mixer has a 100% rate of giving a mix seed.
散歩 – Stroll
Basically your mandrake and another player’s mandrake go on a date! Often when you grow a new type of mandrake, the map will be updated with a red alert. If a location has an alert, you can go on a
date stroll to unlock a new story and sometimes illustrations. Going on strolls costs coins but you get stars in return.
The black text is the title of the story, the red text is which mandrake is taking a stroll, the blue text is what the rewards will be; ストーリー – story, イラスト – illustration, and スター – the amount of stars. The timer denotes how long it will take – in this case 7 hours. Next to that is how many mandrakes can accompany you on your stroll. The rarer the mandrake/story, the longer the
dates strolls – you can reduce time by choosing to stroll with another player’s mandrake. Lastly is the amount of coins required.
Once you set a mandrake on a stroll you’ll see him walking along side your friend’s mandrakes you chose earlier. There will be two buttons on the bottom: お散歩中止 – abort walk, and 今すぐ完了 – complete now, which brings up an option to use stars to complete the stroll immediately. Otherwise, once the time limit is up you can read the story!
A new feature on the scroll page is “みんなの宝島” – Everyone’s Treasure Island. It’s the floating island with blue arrow.
What this is is a daily chance to get treasure such as coins, watering cans, stars, synthesis items. Every day, a different set of mandrakes can hunt for treasure. The requirement is that you’ve obtain said mandrake. The mandrake you have set as your main also has a daily go at hunting for treasure. Each mandrake has a number of steps it can take; the higher the rarity the more steps, best to set your main as a high step-rate mandrake.
タウン – Town
The bottom half of the screen is where a bunch of your mandrakes wander in tiny pixel form. If you tap them they play a little sound and animation – they’re quite cute so you should tap them at least once. As you collect more mandrakes from different groups, more buildings will be built, and as you collect more of a group the buildings will gain another storey. These buildings are basically homes for the different groupings of mandrakes. You can tap them to see the stories and illustrations of each group.
The special mandrakes you’ve created are not found (with the exception of some) in the town but in their own special area called Mix Town.
フレンド – Friends
You can edit your profile by clicking the pencil button. There you can change your name (costs 100 stars), icon, illustration, and comment. This profile is all public to view. Your main icon is also the mandrake your friends can take a stroll with. Your main illustration will greet you on app start up.
メニュー – Menu
Menu has a bunch of stuff that may vary in usefulness.
Top row: Notices – events that are happening right now etc / Mail / Help.
Middle row: Friends / Community forum (takes to a web page) / Code input.
Bottom row: Settings / Account registration – Facebook or a general account possible if you change devices etc / Missions
The latest version of Saibai Shounen brings Missions! Goals to aim for in the game. You can view the mission list on Menu > Missions, the very last button.
Completing missions will net you some stars – you must access the Missions page to collect these, they won’t be automatically sent to you.
Here are examples of the first bunch of missions:
- Aruna Panic! – Grow 10000 アルナ
- I love cats! – Grow 300 マネ丸, 20 チックピー
- Bamboo x Bamboo x Bamboo – Grow 300 タケミチ, 500 竹那, 500 クロタケ
- We are younger brothers – Grow 10000 ヨシュア, 300 シプソ
- We are older brothers – Grow 50 ヨシック, 2500 ギプソ
Unlocking stories and illustrations
If you go through the Stroll tab’s story list you’ll likely see a lot of locked stories you can’t access. Most of these have the condition of “have x mandrake,” “unlock an earlier story.” Mandrakes can be categorized into three types: normal, special, and mix.
Normal mandrakes are your common mandrakes.
Special mandrakes have the chance of appearing when you ‘master’ a normal mandrake. Basically you need to grow a specific amount of the normal mandrake and there’s a chance a special one will appear. You can check how many mandrakes you need to grow of a species by tapping on their profile (if it’s of a seed currently growing: Garden>Planter, or go to Town>Mandrakes). You can tell these mandrakes are special by the golden colour of the leaves.
Mix mandrakes are ones created through Synthesis.
When you click on a locked story, you’ll be shown the requirements: “お散歩に必要なマンドレイク[mandrake]” means you’re missing the required mandrake.
You can tell which type of mandrake is needed by the word at the end of the bracket: ノーマル – normal, スペシャル – special, ミックス – mix.
In the title of each story is [グループ#] which shows which group the mandrake belongs to. If you go into the Town tab you’ll see each building has a group assigned to it and you can check which mandrake is needed.
If you get “ストーリーは順番に解されます。名グループのストーリーは図鑑で確認をして下さい。” that means you’ll have to unlock an earlier story.
A couple of my favourite illustrations that I’ve unlocked (yes, there are lewd illustrations amongst this cute looking game).
There’s two types of events:
1) A new seed gets introduced and there’s a “chance up” period of it appearing in Rare Random seeds.
2) A special Event seed will be available for a certain period of time. Obtain the new story and illustrations in time.
- Seeds lose effect after a certain amount of time. The Normal Random and Rare Random seeds runs out after 10 minutes.
- Don’t use stars on the seeds that cost 100-400 stars. You’ll likely end up getting them in the Normal Random seed eventually.
- You can send gifts (watering cans) every day. Add a bunch of people who will gift back to you.
- Use these watering cans on seeds you’ve bought with stars, or seeds you like, since seeds lose effect after some time and you’ll have to repurchase them. I suggest buying seeds that cost stars only after you’ve gathered a lot of watering cans to get the most out of it.
- Login bonuses include watering cans and stars.
- Tweeting about new mandrakes you’ve acquired gives stars. You don’t actually need to send the tweet (press back on your Twitter app to discard) if you’re worried about spamming, or you can direct a tweet at the null account, @sai_bai_ so it doesn’t appear on others’ timeline.