Game Dev Tycoon is a business simulation game where you replay the history of the gaming industry by starting your own video game development company in the 80s. Create best selling games. Research new technologies and invent new game types. Become the leader of the market and gain worldwide fans.
A disappointing throwback to great management sims like Transport Tycoon or Theme Hospital, but it fails to impress with its lack of depth.
It's pretty similar to The Movies (2005) by Lionhead games, where your main source of income relies on you betting money on projects to earn even more money by exploiting current news events or the mainstream media, while climbing to the top of the charts.
Obviously, this game isn't even close to being as advanced as The Movies, which isn't even that advanced compared to other "tycoon games".
Overall, it's a bare minimun of what I'd expect a management sim would do, and many times feel as a quick IOS time waster. Go play The Movies, instead.
The game seems like it will be awesome at first, but quickly proves to be little more but a shallow tease at what could have been better. I don't see the point of reiterating what others have said, but I will say that the entire process of making a game or engine seems incredibly arbitrary, and the lack of any actual diversity in gameplay will make the end stages seems just as trivial and boring as the beginning.
It had some nice points, and it was always fun to imagine my 'dream game (to the limit the game allowed me)' succeeding, though of course it was difficult with the way the game decided what made a good video game. Probably the worst part (and oddly at that) is the fact everything feels so small. You never feel like you're in a huge video game corporation by the end of the game, you only have about eight programmers and around ten other people in various departments.
The game is horribly designed. It's underlying mechanics are way too simple to make a compelling simulation, and work in a sometimes incomprehensible and illogical manner. The tools to properly work on titles are either not present or inaccessible at the stages they would normally be available at to game developers. Pressure builds in a silly manner due to misdesigned systems interaction (workforce management versus results in a stupidly compressed timeframe). If you **** up, you can basically start over, because correcting your mistakes so that they won't hurt you two hours down the line is nearly impossible. The progression is also painfully static. It basically forces you to replay, but doesn't offer any replay value to incentivize this.
Overall, the game feels really horrible. It's unrewarding, the components are slapped together in a stupidly simplistic and obscure box with mediocre windowdressing.
You can get hundreds of current games that have a WAY better value at this price.
Game is virtually unplayable after getting to the second stage. Instead of comparing all your games made to your highest scoring game, you should compare it to other simulated companies within the game.
Once you have a smash hit game, there's nowhere to go but down.
To sum up my experience with this game in one word would be, confusion. I made a couple good/decent games - according to reviews in-game - and then felt confused by every subsequent game after those initial two. I tried and tried again, but no amount of research, or reviews gave me any clues as how to go about improving the games I put out. I never even left the garage I was so confused. This sucks for the review, since I haven't 'completed' the game yet. I have been unable to due to a lack of information.
I can give my honest, and complete opinion about the UI, though. I don't really like it. To me, it feels too simple having to access it by clicking anywhere on the screen. I don't really like the sliders either - that are used to determine how much work goes into making a game, and where it is best utilized. Or, perhaps I dislike the way the sliders are presented, and the lack of percentages representing the exact amount of work I want to put into something. The lack of number representation is usually why I dislike sliders. Every other aspect of navigating the menu feels just fine to me, though.
Perhaps it is my lack of experience with the game, but I don't feel as if I am running a company, or even trying to start one. With the experience I do have I feel as if I won't be managing anything other than the work put into each game. I believe my focus is entirely spent on 'the game' and I don't like that.
Despite these dislikes I have with the game, I still believe it's good. One just needs to get past these things, especially the confusion to really enjoy it. But I think that might be difficult for some people. I've given up on the game, but not entirely because of the confusion. I still feel like I won't be running a company, I just get this vibe I won't be doing anything other than making games - and that bores me. It's also occurred to me there may or may not be an "end game." I sincerely hope there isn't one, beyond simply running a, successful, company.