Game Dev Tycoon: Steam Release Day Review

Game Dev Tycoon is an incredibly fun business simulation and could very well become one of my all-time favorite games.

Game Dev Tycoon is a business simulation game developed by Greenheart Games and was just released on Steam today.  The game allows you to take control of your own game company and release games that you think will sell the best.  In almost 20 years of playing video games, I have seen nothing like Game Dev Tycoon and am pleasantly surprised by what I played this afternoon.

Game Dev Tycoon starts off 30 years in the past as a game developer working out of his or her garage, and slowly working towards becoming a major game developer.  The premise behind this game is novel and the gameplay immediately had me coming up with my own ideas for various games.  Whether it is developing the newest pirate adventure game (which I released about 17 of) or the newest cutting-edge flight simulator, the stress of developing a successful game was immediate and was very real.

 

Starting from the bottom...well, technically starting from the garage but close enough.

The beauty of Game Dev Tycoon lies in the simplicity of the game.  Seriously, all you have to do is develop a video game that will sell well enough to keep your game company from going into debt.  However, that is much easier said than done so do not go in thinking that you can master the game on your first playthrough.  Players will quickly learn that each game has its own gameplay-style that it matches best with.  For instance, if you create a business game then you had best make it a Simulation game...unless you want to have a action-packed Business game that will receive poor results.  Trust me, you do not want this!

As you release more games and begin to earn money, you can research upgrades that range from "New Topics" that give you more themes for your games, or even "Marketing" that will help you promote your game before it is released.  These upgrades are critical should you wish to continue expanding your game company; taking advantage of the right upgrades early will help ensure success. 

Developing ain't easy

On a sobering note, Game Dev Tycoon is very realistic in terms of how your games are perceived by both reviewers and the general public.  My 17 pirate games very quickly started to lose the interest of the reviewers and my fans, and helped to ensure that my company hit bankruptcy fairly early in the game.  Experimenting with themes and gameplay styles is extremely rewarding and learning which combinations work best is critical to releasing good games.  For instance, Pirate RPGs seem to be more enjoyable than Pirate Simulation games...and I have a lot of experience in this department, so you would do well to trust me!

Should you find yourself nearing bankruptcy, the bank will loan you money to keep your company running with the stipulation that you must pay them back their money plus interest.  Which, if you have $200,000 in debt, you will pay around $800,000 to the bank to keep playing.  And that is no easy feat with when your money is constantly being deducted by monthly charges or game development fees.

Sadly, my game company filed bankruptcy after about two hours of gameplay time and that is a sinking feeling.  You can choose to restart the level that you are currently on or you can choose to start over completely, but either option still means you have done something wrong.  In my case, maybe it would have been smart to consider alternatives to having a game library consisting mostly of pirate adventure games...

If you have not thought about looking into Game Dev Tycoon before now, I highly recommend that you do so because it is currently on sale on Steam right now, and it is bound to  provide you with hours upon hours of fun.  I have never been a big fan of simulation games in the past but Game Dev Tycoon is an exception, and a very good one at that!

Our Rating
9
Game Dev Tycoon is an incredibly fun business simulation and could very well become one of my all-time favorite games.

Columnist

Public Relations major at Virginia Commonwealth University. Fan of all types of video games, old and new.

Published Aug. 30th 2013
  • Courtney Gamache
    Featured Contributor
    I told you the game was amazing Matt! I'm glad you like it. :3 Develop those games, boy!

    Don't forget, they have some sick achievements in Steam. ;)
  • MyNameIsProjekt
    Columnist
    Oh, I am going to develop some games for sure! :D Just trying to figure out the correct number of pirate games to release...17 was too many, so maybe 16?

    On a serious note, I look forward to spending some time with this game tomorrow and Sunday so that I can learn how to actually make games that score better than 3s or 4s.
  • Synzer
    Guide Editor
    Nice, just picked it up. I've heard about this game and finally get to try it. Good thing it looks promising.

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