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Game Dev Story Review

Game Dev Story
Developer: Kairosoft Co.
Publisher: Kairosoft Co.
Genre: Simulation
Released: 9th October 
Price: $3.99


Have you ever wanted to run your own video game company?  Well I have! I’ve always wanted to know what it was like managing a team of dedicated programmers, writers, graphic designers, sound engineers, producers and directors.  Well the fine people over at Kairosoft have provided us with that opportunity.  Game Dev Story is a sim management style game that will allow you to experience what it’s it like to create a game from start to finish including hiring and firing employees, placing ads to help grow and maintain a fan base, attend game show events and press conferences and even build your own gaming console.

The sky is the limit with Game Dev Story.  Do you have what it takes to make that Number  one hit title and receive recognition from the game reviewers and magazines for a perfect score ?  Step up and take the challenge -you won’t regret it.


Game Dev Story starts off as most sims do.  You begin with  $500K in your account and a loyal and trustworthy assistant, who guides you through a small part of the game, helping you hire your staff.  There isn’t too much to learn even though it may feel a little daunting at first. But if you have the time there is a very handy 29 page manual in the options menu that gives a fairly decent rundown on how things work which I would recommend you read right at the start so you don’t get lost or many any silly mistakes that could ruin your chances of having fun later in the game.

The gameplay in a nutshell is quite simple – there’s a perfect blend of options that are not confusing making it perfect for newcomers to the sim genre as well as hard core sim specialists.  It’s totally up to you how you want to run your own gaming company because in the end it all boils down to having fun and making sure your dedicated team are happy and content and fully trained in their specific skills. More importantly, your fans should be excited with the quality of the games you create.

There is so much to talk about in Game Dev Story I could go and on about it for hours.  For starters the game begins with you the young in-experienced CEO naming your company and settling in to your new office as your secretary walks you through some of the basics.  You then have the task of hiring staff.  You can do this by placing ads on the net or in a magazine, or by word of mouth – all of which cost money and will attract a specific amount of interest depending on how much you spend.   


You start off in a fairly small office building only capable of holding four staff, so make sure you pick the right blend of people so that you can grow and create a game that will start making you money and building up your fan base.  Game Dev Story is set to run for a total of 20 years (in game time that is, but you can continue playing after that period ends if you wish).  You start right at the beginning by purchasing a licence to develop games on the humble PC. Then as the years roll by – and you earn more money, you will have the option to develop new games on any new consoles released by other companies, and launched at press conferences.

Due to copyright laws, all of the consoles and gaming companies are named differently in the game and Kairosoft have thought of some very funny mock-up / parody name for games and consoles which had me laughing and even got me in the mood to mock up my game titles once I created them in the game.


As your gaming company begins to grow (well we hope it does) you start building up a fan base which is broken down demographically – males/females of specific ages  who also evolve with the game.  So after a while specific ages drop off and you get a new breed of gamer that has no idea who you are so you need to attract them to your games by placing ads in a variety of specific ways from radio, to magazine and tv just to name a few.  Again, everything costs money and the more you can burn the more fans and hype you can generate for your game and gaming company. 

There are two types of resources in the game.  One is the almighty dollar which is used for a variety of things from paying for a console license so you can develop games on it, to paying employee salaries, to placing ADS for staff, to promoting your company, to training your staff – all of which unlock extra features that will allow you to create a more broader range of game genres such as RPG, ACTION, PUZZLE type games.  The key is to ensure your staff are always trained up as they are your backbone and if they are not at full capacity you will need to look elsewhere –and hire, for example,  other 3rd party contracters who provide a specific service. This will increase the amount of money you need to develop your game. 

The other resource is research points. During the course of the game your staff will discover “research points” – which can happen either while they are working on a game or when they are sitting around doing nothing.  Research points are also used in a variety of different ways from “Levelling Up” your staff (MAX Level Cap is 5) to using them to increase your game’s FUN, Creativity, Graphical, Story and Sound features.  Learning how this works combined with other items that boost those features is very important in creating that NO#1 top selling title that will earn you that “GAME OF THE YEAR” award at the yearly game awards show (just like Video Game awards we have each year).


As your pool of money increases, you have the option to move into bigger and more spacious offices that can accommodate more staff and will allow you to create bigger and better games.  The process then continues, hire extra staff, train them up, give them the appropriate training they require, promote your game and company, research more genre’s, create and hype up another title and hope the game critics give you a great review score.


Graphically Game Dev Story is not spectacular, but if you love the retro look then this is right up you alley.  Personally I think the retro look suits the game to a tee.  Of course not everyone is a fan of the old retro style games taking one look at it and thinking it looks too basic and not taking advantage of the iPhone 4 “Retina Display” and graphical capability.  But if you’re looking for something that is totally original and will get you hooked from the start, then look no further.  If you’re a video game addict and always wished you could own your own video game company – then Game Dev Story is for you!

Once you start you won’t be able to put this down.  Another great feature is that it won’t take too much of your battery (that’s an upside of using 16-bit graphics)  Controls and save options also work fine (even though you only have one save game slot which is a little bit of a downer) as you can access the menu system from anywhere on the screen to pick and execute specific commands etc.


If you love your sim style games, you’re a video game fan and you’ve always wondered what it’s like to run your own gaming company (employing staff, attending game show events and press conferences etc) then what are you waiting for? Make your way over the iTunes store NOW and purchase Game Dev Story you will not be disappointed !!