Platform: iOS Universal (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch)
Things you might like:
- Retro graphics
- Simple, addictive gameplay
- Autosave feature
- Two control schemes
- Lots of genre options
- Random events tied to game development
Things you might not like:
- No landscape mode
- No true Multi-Task support
- No Social Integration
Game Dev Story is a killer app for the iOS platform. It combines the best parts of the Sim genre with graphics and gameplay sure to appeal to their target audience.
5 out of 5 Games Dev-ed
Who among us hasn’t wanted to make a video game, only to be met with the stark reality of how difficult it is? Just me? That’s okay. Well, if you want an idea of how developing a game looks, without all that pesky “reality” stuff getting in the way, then Game Dev Story is perfect for you.
Game Dev Story puts you in the CEO chair of a videogame start-up. You’ve got a crew of 3 or 4 employees and you’re about to set the gaming world ablaze with your latest creation. To do this, you’ll have to take a few steps. First, you’ll choose the platform for your game. The PC is the cheapest, but doesn’t have the market saturation that, say, Senga Exodus (see what they did there?) has. Bear in mind, if you want to develop for a console, then you’ll have to pay a licensing fee, which can be pricey. Also, developing for them will be more expensive in general.
Next, you’ll have to choose the game type and the genre. You start off with a few choices and unlock more as time goes on and your staff levels up. Now that production is underway, you need to get the word out. There are several options for marketing, and you’ll have to see what your budget can handle. You’ll have to pay your employees, so don’t forget about them and spend all their money on ads or improvements
The gameplay here is fantastic. It’s simple, but not completely “hands off”. You’ll choose who works on which parts of the project, and will have to weigh and consider how much you’re making a specific employee do. Overuse one, and they’ll deliver subpar results time and again. Don’t forget to use outsiders when necessary. Your employees will thank you. You control different options, such as who sits where and how much to commit to employee training, and level up your employees as necessary. Bear in mind, this increases their annual salary.
Game Dev Story gives you enough information to be good without being overwhelming. You can see market share stats for different consoles as well as data about what types of games are ‘hot’. You can combine genre and game type as necessary, and it accounts for real world results. By this, I mean a Robot Action game will do well, while a Movie Role Playing Game (RPG) will fall on its face. This is part of what makes the game so great.
Lastly, the sense of humor present is enough to make you smile. There are parodies of all the big names, like Nintendo (Nipon) and Sega (Senga). They release consoles similar to what we’ve seen in the past, only with slightly different names. For someone who has been gaming for years, this was a nice touch.
My biggest complaint here is that there is no social interaction. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not someone who wants to tweet every time they use the bathroom, but being able to share your company’s status, ‘Twisted Panda is releasing ‘RPG Dudes’ for the Senga Exodus’ would be a great feature. I think it woud draw more users in and create a community, almost overnight, for this game. Aside from this, the lack of a landscape mode is disappointing, but not detrimental. Lastly, while the game autosaves regularly and you can save whenever you want, being able to fast switch back and forth would be nice. However, it is missing here.
Game Dev Story is a great game for those willing to put the time into it. By no means a deep RPG, it still has enough to make you sit down in your living room and play it for hours. Just don’t blame the developers when you can’t dial 911 for help because your cellphone battery is dead.
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