Game Dev Tycoon is a business simulation game that allows you to play as a video game developer. Starting out in your garage with only a few thousand dollars you must grow your company and your game portfolio to try and expand your company and become the number one game developer in the world.
Beginning in the 1980s and continuing up until the modern day the game goes through all the generations of gaming consoles. There are parodies of well-known companies along with a fictional history to keep you informed of consoles coming onto the market and eventually when it will leave the market and no longer be supported. When a console leaves the market you are also given a small report on how well your company did on that system, how many games you created and how much money you made.
The most enjoyable part of the game involved researching different technologies that allow you to create your own operating system. Depending on what technology you research will very much determine the types of games that you will create. I myself went from creating fantasy RPGs focused on story and dialogue to having my biggest earners and best reviewed being space simulation games that were based on having the best technology available. Although you cannot choose what story that you create and you are given very little feedback other than being told how well your game was received and how well it sold. Your individual and staff’s strengths and weaknesses will also determine how well your game is designed and how much technology went in to developing it.
You are able to choose what type of game you can create including its size, the subject matter, the genre of the game and which system it’ll be released on. This is where Game Dev Tycoon both shines and falls apart. While there is a sense of achievement from choosing a combination that scores perfect reviews and makes you tens of millions of dollars in revenue, the feeling of falling into a pattern of creating the same types of games that I knew would be successful rather than take a risk by making something outlandish and strange (like a vampire adventure-strategy for both the PC and mobile devices) could not be avoided.
Although there isn’t much to do once you become the biggest company putting out the biggest titles and making the most money. There are no options to try and create a smaller company that specializes in one type of game. You can’t try and launch your own game console to try and compete with fictionalized versions of Microsoft and Sony.
While not hugely detailed, this is a game that allows you to micromanage everything from the conception to marketing. Game Dev Tycoon is a solid game that allowed for a good number of hours of fun. Not bad for £6.99 on steam and even better when the summer sale comes around again.