THE iDOLM@STER SideM
|THE iDOLM@STER SideM
|Video Game Data
THE iDOLM@STER SideM (アイドルマスター サイドエム Aidorumasutaa Saido Emu) was a game that featured the recruitment of soon-to-be idols at 315 Production and the three idols within the unit Jupiter, who have now defected to 315 Production. Like THE iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls, it was a social media game hosted by Mobage.
The game's main theme was job change. All of the idols have had jobs, and for various reasons, they decide to switch and become an idol. The player is the producer, who helps them achieve their dreams. There were 46 voiced idols, divided into 15 units to choose from.
The game was going to be launched on February 7, 2014, but was quickly shut down due to server issues, and as a result, it was placed on indefinite maintenance. On July 17, 2014, the game officially went back online. Voices for idols were implemented into the game on March 15, 2015.
Once again, players could vote on their favorite idol every year to see who was the most popular idol of that year. However, this practice stopped after Year 2, although a yearly vote for a given event's sequel has happened instead.
In celebration of the game's 1st anniversary, a new mini-game called "SideMini" was announced, then released on August 31st, 2015.
At the 2nd Live concert, another mobile game was announced, THE iDOLM@STER SideM LIVE ON ST@GE!, as well as an anime adaptation of the series. The former was released in 2017, while the latter was released in the Fall 2017 anime season.
On October 6, 2021, THE iDOLM@STER SideM GROWING STARS, a spin-off rhythm game, was released for Android and iOS.
It was announced the game ceased its operations on January 5, 2023.
System and Gameplay
The game had similar gameplay to the now-defunct Cinderella Girls and Million Live! in that the basics of the game revolved around regenerating stamina and social elements. Idols in SideM were represented by trading cards of three different rarities; Normal (N), Rare (R), and Super Rare (SR), each with an Unchanged and Changed (+) version. Like the other iDOLM@STER series, each idol had their own stats, and there were three main attribute types: Physical (red), Intelligence (blue), and Mental (yellow).
The first time the game was started, players would be guided by their assistant, Ken Yamamura, through a tutorial where they were able to choose one of the three DRAMATIC STARS members as their starting R+ idol: Teru Tendo (physical), Kaoru Sakuraba (intelligence), or Tsubasa Kashiwagi (mental). All three of these cards did not affect the player's future in the gameplay, as it would be fairly easy to attain the cards of the other idols through points scouting.
The core of SideM lied in business (営業 eigyou). There were eight locations with four stages, each with five levels within them, and more locations could be unlocked through progressing through the game. To conduct business, players had to tap the screen until the level was complete or until they run out of stamina. Various events would occur during business, including Lives, Audition Battles, and card scouting. At the end of each stage, there was also a 'boss battle'.
Lives randomly occurred through conducting business. Each player would use a unit to make an appeal of a certain amount (voltage) in order to do lives. They also had control on how much appeal was used by selecting the star with the corresponding amount of appeal points (in sets of 20, up to 100), which was important to avoid using an unnecessary amount of appeal points. Appeal points could be restored through AP bars.
Audition Battles were the other random event that occurred in business. Unlike Lives, they did not use AP. Each of the two players' cards would be pitted against each others' cards in a battle of strength in either vocal, dance, or visual categories, where the player must had at least 3 of their cards win to emerge victorious in the battle.
Lessons (レッスン) was the way to improve a card's stats and skill level. This was necessary for Lives, where higher card stats gave more appeal points. For players to perform lessons and improve stats, they had to select auto lesson (おまかせレッスン) or manually choose cards to 'feed' to the card of their choice. Once the lesson was over, the cards that were 'fed' would no longer exist. Using Ken Yamamura N/R cards for lessons were the most efficient, as they costed less G to use and gave more EXP.
The player could Change! (チェンジ！) a card to convert it from an unchanged version to a + version, improving its stats and changing the card artwork. Duplicates were required to Change! cards; the player needed to select a base card to change, then a second copy. After changing a card, the card's level would reset to 1. It was recommended that the level of a card was maxed out before changing it, as it would give stat bonuses. Some cards, such as promo cards and Ken Yamamura cards, were unable to be changed.
Scout Gacha (スカウトガシャ) was one of the main ways to obtain cards in SideM. There were four types of gacha— Limited, Contest, Ticket, and Point.
Limited and Contest Gacha were paid gachas that was only available for a short period of time, generally the same as the current event. Limited Gacha would often follow the same theme and story of the event.
Ticket Gacha had three subtypes: Platinum Scout, Live Scout, and event gacha. Platinum Scout guarantees cards of at least R rarity, with a small chance of the permanent DRAMATIC STARS and FRAME SRs. Live Scout tickets were obtainable through business, and hold cards of all rarities. Event gacha, not to be confused with Limited Gacha, was obtainable in certain events. Event gacha generally gave the same cards as Live Scout would— however, event gacha also offered a small chance at getting the event's ranking R or SR card. There were also % Event SR tickets, which could be obtained through reaching a certain rank in events. These tickets gave a 0.3% to 20% chance of getting the event SR the ticket was obtained from.
In the Point Gacha, cards of all rarities were offered, but there were many cards that were rarer to find.
Events (イベント) were the other way to obtain new cards. Each week or so, a new event began, usually focused on two of the units (though it may also be focused on various members of different units), or singular units in cases of High×Joker or Café Parade. Event cards were split between cards obtainable in the event, and cards that must be scouted for in Limited Gacha. There were two SRs for each event: one available through scouting, and the other obtainable through reaching a certain rank in the event. Each event had a different theme (such as ghost story or butler), and there were four event types. Each event type also had a set of panel missions, which gave cards and 315 Seals (that could be traded for items). There were also event stories, which showed special dialogue between the characters, and event manga, which correspond with the event cards. Previews for the next in-game event usually showed up in the game's notices 3-4 days before the current event ends.
Marathon events progressed similarly to normal business. However, instead of Lives and Audition Battles, Appeal Chance would occur instead, where players had to choose to make a megaphone appeal (red), 50 appeal (green), or appeal (blue), which give one of three types of appeals: Normal, Good, and Perfect. Generally, blue appeal, which required no AP, would give Normal, but can sometimes give Good or Perfect appeals. Green appeal, which uses 50 AP, would always give Good or higher. Red appeal requires megaphones, which could be bought, traded for 315 Seals, or obtained throughout the event. They was always result in Perfect appeals, and could be stacked up to three times for a 3.6% bonus. Sometimes, there would be more than one character on screen during the Appeal Chance. This could either double or triple the number of points obtained, depending on whether or not the character was in their + form. It was recommended to use red appeals only while a triple bonus was in effect, and when the player was able to use three megaphones at a time. In Marathon events, there were 6 different areas, each with 3 steps, which each contain 5 stages. At the end of each step, players would be challenged to an Appeal Battle by a one of the units in the game, which played the same as Audition Battles. It was possible to switch between the areas at any time once they had been completed.
Marathon events had a unique feature called Event Reports, which were obtained through playing the event, and trade them for a chance at a special gacha, which had a possibility of getting the ranking SR, as well as the ranking R, points R, and many other items.
Other Gameplay Mechanics
Joining a team (チーム) was optional, but provided many benefits, such as extra items and events. As well, Live events were easier to participate in with the help of a team, and Team events required a team to join.
SideMini was a small minigame which takes place in the production's office. It was possible to call on miniature versions of the idols through souvenirs, which were obtainable through Lives and events. There were three main sizes of souvenirs, and each would bring one to three idols at once. As well, there were also special unit souvenirs, which would bring only that specific unit. For example, the rice cracker souvenirs would bring the unit Shinsoku Ikkon to the office. The idols will bring items such as AP bars or Jelly, and the quantity of the item depends on how many idols appear.
The magazine publications were manga that the idols appeared in. These served to introduce the idols, and could be unlocked with Memory Notes. There were also manga for each card in events.
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New Idol Discovery Audition
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