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Game Dev Tycoon Review: Microtransactions Not Included

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A small internet hit, Game Dev Tycoon gained a lot of headway when it was released. Slowly gaining popularity Game Dev Tycoon was brought onto Steam through their Greenlight service. I am happy to saw I was a part of the group that got it onto the popular gaming service. The game is certainly unique in its own way and in the world of gaming. Creating games with in a game is sort of RPG Maker’s territory but this offers the development through a developer side.

You have a garage, a computer, and live in the 80’s the birth age of gaming. With basic gaming knowledge at your fingertips, you must go from being a nobody in his garage to a gaming giant that controls the industry.

A game run off of a bunch of mathematical mumbo jumbo you can expect that this game can be pretty unfair if you were born with average or bad luck stats in life. On occasion you will find that sweet spot when developing games to make virtual gold. Everything in this Game Dev Tycoon affects the success of your own game. Your employees, your game engine, your own development stats, what platform you are developing for, how much marketing is done, if you decide to go through a publisher and of course the biggest gaming event “Games Games Games (G3/Parody of E3)”.

As it says in the name, Game Dev Tycoon is a tycoon simulation game where you play as a game developer that starts to the bottom and it is up to you to rise to the top. If you aren’t a person developing video games GDT may give you an interesting insight to what developers go through. Now, I know the process is way more time consuming but the money issues are definitely relatable. How the reviews affect game sales and even dealing with unrealistic expectations from publishers are just some of the mechanics that will give you the game developer feels. When you put a lot of money in a game, and it gets 3’s, sells horrible, and you lose a butt ton of money. However, when you make that perfect 10 game your sense of accomplishment is immeasurable.

You will have a small list of topics to make games from; you start off with two platforms, and a few genres. You must use these to obtain research points and money so you can create more diverse games. Early on, this kind of thing is really simple. You can cruise through maybe 6 or seven topics without going in the red on your bank account and set up for a bigger company. When you move out of the garage is when the game gets hard. You will have to manage a staff, more research projects, bigger game engines, marketing, and staff training. Most of which costs research points and money, and both will be in short supply. The game is obviously stylized to work well as a video game but you naturally get really into it. You try to look for what is popular and cater a game to that.

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While the game is fun and has some solid development behind it. There are still a few problems that hold Game Dev Tycoon back. The amount of micromanagement feels like it is engineered to make you fail. You unlock too many new things at once and it gets overwhelming. When you spend a lot of time training your staff or researching new topics/development tools, time passes too fast. The game feels like it progresses too quickly for comfort. I understand a fast paced game because no one wants something that drones on forever but in this case, I wanted the game to slow down a bit.

Game Dev Tycoon is not the most polished of games. It does get the job done. Short of developing your own game, it is the closest thing to game development I can get. You get that sense of urgency for getting a new fresh game out often without over-saturating the market. You understand how important reviews are, especially since I review games myself. Game Dev Tycoon offers a unique experience and an eye opening insight to the basics of game development. That alone is something to be proud of with how simple the game is. This game is worth your money. I give Game Dev Tycoon from Greenheart Games an 8/10.

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