This is a game that game that came to me by way of a close friend during a Steam sale. it was during my move and I can never express how thankful I was to find this game sent as a gift. Of course, it is a simple game though, it can be frustrating at times. The game is Game Dev Tycoon by Greenheart Games.
The game’s premise is rather simple. You start at the birth of the gaming industry and have to maneuver your company from the garage (probably your mom’s) to greater and greater things for the next 35 years without going bankrupt. Sounds easy right? Hah. How many gaming companies can you name that are still here after starting in the 80s?
You start out making rather simple games, for the PC and the Govodore G64. Slowly the gaming consoles are added and then you get the predictions of what the future will hold after the current generation. It’s a lot of fun to snicker at how Greenheart Games played off the names, changing them but making it clear you know who it is supposed to emulate from the past. Vonny, Ninvento, Govodore jsut to name a few. It’s always fun to read the ‘predictions’ in the earlier stages of the game because you already know how history played out for these consoles. The tongue in cheek humor makes this a blast.
Of course, you can’t have a game development company without creating games. You start with five categories – Action, Adventure, RPG, Simulation, Strategy. Eventually, Casual is added as a sixth category. On top of that you have 48 topics ranging from Military to Romance and pretty much everything in between. So there are a lot of options. Of course some topics work better with certain catergories over others. Certain categories work better with certain platforms. It’s all a game of matching what goes best. When in doubt, think of today’s games. Of course as you go on and do research, you unlock audiences, then you unlock multi-genre and multi-platforms. Ocer all the story is simple. The fun is seeing how long you can last without tanking. One bad game can sink a company…right, 38 Studios? Okay, that’s unfair. Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning was a good game…the company just made stupid decisions. Which still proves my point. You can be a dick to your fans, suing the pants off them when the do fan copies of the game, or pirate or want your engine source code, or you can be cool with them. You can invest money wisely, or unwisely. It’s up to you on how to make your company succeed.
For me this is a fun game. I play it often. I have yet to get everything done in the thirty-five year time span but the fun thing is, this game doesn’t really end. After you hit that point, it just keeps going on but there are no updates from any of the other game developers. So I play it over and over again. I enjoy creating names for games, and figuring out how to make everything work. And it truly shows that video game reviews are arbitrary opinions.
If there was any knock against the game is the idea that people who play adventure games aren’t big into great dialogue or action games only care for great AI. I understand the simplicity of the idea for this game, but I’m an odd gamer. I like my action games to be decently fleshed out. I like to know that I can submerge myself into the world and be in it while playing. But that doesn’t harm Game Dev Tycoon at all. I think it does a wonderful job of being a wonderful, fun game.
Game Dev Tycoon
- Story – N/A
- Playability – 9
- Visual Appeal – 9
- Overall – 9