April 23rd, 2012 | By Takeshi Mochida
In Game Dev Story, you can develop games! Game Dev Story by Kairosoft is a game management simulation game. You are the manager of a game company, and have 20 years to turn a no-name company into the largest corporation in the world. This game tests your ability to make right decisions at the right moment. Instructions are told through dialogue by your secretary, allowing smooth and continuous gameplay. Even if you don’t remember everything, you still have the help section as reference.
You start out in a small room with 2 employees. Initially, you have 2 job options: ‘New Game’ or ‘Contract’. As the name suggests, ‘New Game’ lets you develop a game. You can choose the game platform, genre, type, and direction. Additional types of platform, genre, and type can be unlocked as your company grows. Game direction sets whether you want to focus on speed, quality, or research. At first, you may need to do contract jobs to rack up some capital. As the company becomes more famous and gets more fans, your secretary will let you move to a larger room with more employee slots.
A game has 5 attributes: fun, creativity, graphics, sound, and bug. The attributes affect magazine reviews and game sales. Points for attributes are earned by employees while developing games. They each have their own attributes: program, scenario, graphics, and sound. Generally, employees with higher attributes will contribute more points towards the game.
Game Dev Story tries to create a realistic industry market by introducing several factors. New consoles are announced after a period of time, and old consoles are removed from the market. This means that to get the most sales from your fans, you need to invest money into getting different platform licenses. Your fans will also change every few years, with older fans replaced by younger fans. It is important to keep the number of fans as high as you can. Kairosoft did a great job with a realistic world, but one mistake they made was including blackouts. Blackouts, or equipment failure will severely decrease game points while in development, but nowadays backups are used to prevent those sorts of things.
While developing, you will earn research points. Research points can be used towards training and leveling up employees as well as using items. To create a console within your own company, you need a hardware engineer. The only way to get a hardware engineer is by getting an employee’s level to level 5 on 7 different types of profession. Research points can also boost your game quality.
If a game gets a review score of 32 or higher, the game will be put in the Hall of Fame. Then, you can start creating sequels. Occasionally you will receive a fan letter, which will tell you if a sequel will sell well.
Graphics and sounds are decent; it’s nothing high-end but gets the job done. The game doesn’t make use of retina display, but the text is still easy to read. The soundtrack doesn’t have much variety when changing offices, but isn’t out of place. You can’t change the design of your games and consoles, which was a little disappointing. In addition, this game requires a lot of patience. You can only watch the screen as your workers code, and there isn’t much action involved. The price of $3.99 can deter many from trying this game. If you are a fan of action or real-time strategy games, this might not be the best fit for you. Game Dev Story won’t bore you in 10 minutes, but perhaps after a few hours. Still, you will most likely devote hours to beat all of your competitors if it is your kind of game.
More information on Game Dev Story is available on their official website. The iOS version can be downloaded at the App Store for the iPhone for $3.99. The Android version can be downloaded at the Play Store for $2.50.