Home > Games, My writing > Game Dev Story (iOS Review)

Game Dev Story (iOS Review)

My game studio “Shaved Zebra” is fairly well known at this point (perhaps you’ve heard of our hit game Mystery Quest?). On a whim I decide we should make a wrestling sim for the Intendro Super IES called Grapple Guys. To my surprise it turns out to be a huge critical and commercial success selling over 2.9 million copies.

This isn’t some bizarre fanfiction you’re reading, this scenario occurred during my first playthrough of Game Dev Story on the iPhone. In the vein of Theme Hospital or Zoo Tycoon, Game Dev Story is a simulation game. As you may have guessed you take charge of a game development studio. As the head of the studio you are tasked with hiring and firing staff aswell as decided which type of game to make and on which system.

The actual gameplay is pretty simple as you might expect, you click through lots of menus. The real fun comes from making choices. Should you make a niche game for PC to try and build your fanbase? Or should you go straight for a popular genre on the industry leading console and make some money? Once this decision is made your staff will start working away on your game, injecting it with “fun”, “creativity”, “graphics” and “sound” (bugs also get acquired during this stage).

To maximise each of these four stats for your game you need to pick the correct member of staff to lead certain areas of development. So what seems like a simple game at first you will soon realise takes a surprising amount of thought.  You’ll also have to take advertising into account, both before and after the release of your game as you’ll want to create some hype and gain some new fans before you ship.

For $3.99/£2.39 Game Dev Story is certainly worth a download, it’s remarkably insightful at times as I found out once Grapple Guys became a huge hit.

I immediately put the studio to work on a sequel but decided to use the money we’d made to hire some third party help in designing the games graphics and music. This also meant my staff wouldn’t become as tired from making two games so close together. Grapple Guys 2 got better review scores than its predecessor and sold 3.2 million copies. Now to get to work on Grapple Guys 3…

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