Game Dev Story is an economics based game where the goal is to manage a video game start-up, beginning in the Atari era. You carve out a genre niche, adapt to new platform releases, keep your employees creative and productive, all in order to win fans across the world.
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Pro Fulfils a fantasy of creating a game studio
You get to choose what type of game you want to make, what tools you use to make it, who you hire to make it, what systems you publish the final product on and you get to watch how it is received by the world. Then you do it all over again bigger.
Pro Very engaging due to quick progression and frequent events
Contracts are measured in weeks and development cycles in months, but time passes at the rate of one day per second. Though the core gameplay involves watching little icons pop up over your employees' heads, rarely do five seconds go by without some player action being prudent, if not required.
Pro Simple and intuitive gameplay allows the game to be accessible, no matter the skill level
Nearly everything is self-explanatory, and the bits that aren't get explained by your secretary. This makes for a game that is easy to understand, even if it does not seem evident at first.
Pro A free demo version is available for anyone to try out
Game Dev Story Lite is available for free on the Google Play store. The Lite version ends after 2 in-game years.
Pro Entertaining business success model typical for Kairosoft games
Con Game is not free
Con Punctuation and grammar errors
Game Dev Story is a Japanese game that was translated to English, which shows, as sometimes there are a few grammatical errors in game. This shows a lack of polish, which may aggravate some players.
Con Unclear method of determining a game's success
Sometimes it is unclear how to find out how successful a game is.
Con It's very hard to fail
Your employees' salaries are waived the first year ("government subsidy") and you can go into the red to pay them after that. You can't develop a game without some initial funds, but since you can always take a contract to make money, there's basically no hole you can't crawl out of.