My eyes are heavy, my arms fatigued from holding my phone and it’s late, but; must…have…one…more…turn. It has been a while since I’ve had this mantra ringing in my ears when I play a game (Civ 4 to be exact) and it has popped up again in this simulation app called “Game Dev Story”.
Now while Game Dev Story isn’t quite the full scale bonanza that Civ 4 was, it does posses the same dangerous addiction that Civ 4 carried. Hardcore gamers may laugh at this simple simulation app, but I care not. This game is all about creating video games.
You are the head honcho of your very own game development studio and in a 20 year life span you must generate as many video game sales as you can. It’s a game that reflects the industry in a jovial and light-hearted manner. You begin by training up staff that can specialise in eight professions such as writing, music and sound.
Games take shape as you name them, choose what genre they are and what console they will adhere to. There are bonuses for getting the combo right which helps when you’re trying to create the next big hit. It gets expensive purchasing the rights to the consoles so choose wisely, or else check the trending graphs frequently.
As you progress and sales steadily climb there’s the opportunity to set up shop at trade shows with booth babes or mascots to reel in potential customers. This all boils down to making that perfect game that will dazzle its way into the hall of fame. There is also a glitzy awards night in which smaller awards are presented. It’s fun choosing how to market the game, whether you opt for radio ads or go all out and put your name on a a racing car or even a blimp. The build up to the release of a game is just as entertaining and you know records will be broken if there are crowds lining up for it.
The game doesn’t take itself seriously as you will find yourself hiring staff with silly names such as Ann Deroid, Walt Sidney and Stephen Jobson. Consoles released are similar such as the Sonny PlayStatus2 or the Intrendo Whoops.
There are few minor flaws to speak of, but one worth mentioning is the way you are thrown into the game with no real tutorial or instructions. It is almost impossible to figure out how to create your own console without some form of googling. I also wish it lasted a little longer than the 20 year span. You can keep going but no sales will count towards the high score. Things just always seem to be ramping up for me and then it comes to an abrupt halt. But as I mentioned this is a fairly minor inconvenience for a game that boasts a fair amount of replayability for just a mobile app.
Overall, the cycle of creating your video game and seeing how well it sells is genius. To break it down; you create a game and once it is released you begin to make another one. But while you do this you want to make sure that the game you just made is selling well, and hence you are stuck in an eternal loop in which you can simply not stop playing. Have I lost you yet?
Trust me, Kairosoft, the brains behind this gem are no strangers to simulation games as this is just another game that they have added to their lengthy sim portfolio. So if you are someone that spends a lot of time on your phone or want a nice distraction at work, Game Dev Story is definitely an app that is worth paying for. Although this game does come with a severe addiction warning; you can be sure you will get your money’s worth and then some!