Kairosoft's output is nothing if not consistent, and since the release of Game Dev Story in 2010, the Japanese developer has churned out one fiercely addictive management sim after another.

But while the likes of Pocket Academy and Hot Springs Story showcased the studio's knack for imaginative variation on a managerial theme, Pocket League Story 2 marks a return to old ground.

In fact, those who've played the original Pocket League Story should brace themselves for a bout of déjà vu before they fire up this sporting sequel.

Like its predecessor, Pocket League Story 2 charges you with recruiting players, overseeing their training, and leading them to tournament triumph. What's more, the two games share the same endearingly lo-fi visuals, the same offbeat humour, and a strikingly similar set of match day mechanics too.

Back for a rematch

That's not to say that Pocket League Story 2 is a total rehash. It's gone freemium, for one thing, and it's perfectly possible to enjoy hours of play without spending a penny on premium currency.

Kairosoft has also introduced a social element to proceedings, enabling you to compete with other teams in an online multiplayer mode. Unfortunately, it's a neat idea that's somewhat hampered by fussy implementation, requiring you to swap 9-digit codes in order to connect with your pals.

Meanwhile, there's a host of very minor additions to the core gameplay, including a new skills system and the introduction of in-game weather conditions. More noticeable, though, is the developer's decision to slow down Pocket League Story 2's simulated soccer.

This change of pace empowers you to tweak formations and substitute players in response to your team's mid-match performance, but the shift also robs the game of some of its boisterous energy.

Ends in a draw

So, given that the game's most conspicuous update is a slight reduction in player movement speed, it's probably fair to say that Pocket League Story 2 is no landmark in innovation.

In fact, even by the formulaic standards of Kairosoft, this title doesn't bring an awful lot of novelty to the table.

But its derivative nature doesn't change the fact that Pocket League Story 2 is a charming, generous, and gosh-darn moreish game. They say that form is fleeting but class is permanent, and although this isn't the most substantial of updates, Kairosoft remains a classy developer.