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Game Dev Story

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Rating: 4.8/5 (133 votes)
Comments (39) | Views (23,087)

Andrewgamedevstory1a.gifMaking games is hard. But playing a game about making games is anything but. Game Dev Story is a lighthearted sim that's lets you run your very own game development studio, doing everything from negotiating licensing deals with console makers to choosing the genre and theme of the games you're going to make. It's the type of game that you pick up to play for a few minutes before realizing that a few hours have already passed. Fixing bugs in a game has never been so fun.

You start off with a tiny studio and just two people: you and your secretary. You can hire up to four additional employees to start with, but as you Best of Casual Gameplay 2010progress through the game your studio will slowly grow in size and, hopefully, popularity. Once you make your hires it's time to start actually making games. You'll have a small budget to start with, enough to make a modest PC project. You get to pick the genre of the game as well as the subject matter, and there's really no limits: so if you want to create a gold themed audio novel, go right ahead. You'll be able to open up more possibilities and game types by leveling up and training your workforce and the sheer variety is pretty impressive.

From there it becomes a continuous cycle. The money you make from your first game can be invested in your next project and, if everything goes right, things will continue to get bigger and better. New consoles and handhelds will come and go, you'll have to invest in advertising and trade shows to keep your name out there, and there are special power-ups that can be used to improve different areas of your game like graphics or sound. You can choose to do everything in-house, which is free, or you can outsource work to more expensive but more talented artists, writers, and musicians.

gamedevstory1b.gifAnalysis: It may seem like there's a lot to manage in Game Dev Story, but the game does an excellent job of making sure you never feel overwhelmed. A lot of this is due to the pacing: things move fast. Like, really fast. From conception to completion, developing a game takes a matter of minutes. This gives Game Dev Story an extremely addictive, "just one more turn" feel. When you finish a game you'll want to stick around for a bit to see how well it sells, and then maybe just get started on a new game. Before you know it a few years have gone by and several games have hit store shelves and your audience is aging.

Now also available for Android!

It's more than just its fast paced, addictive gameplay that makes Game Dev Story so fun though. It also has an incredible sense of humor and charm. Over the course of the game you'll see the release of numerous game consoles and handhelds, each of which is based on a real-world system. So after years of creating PC games you may just be successful enough to develop for the Senga Uranus or the Intendo Whoops. You can also advertise by marching bands or by writing on the moon and when one of your employees gets on a hot streak they'll literally catch on fire. It's these small touches, coupled with some adorable pixel art graphics, that make the game so endearing.

Even if you have no interest in game development, Game Dev Story is still an excellent way to whittle away the battery life on your phone. It manages to take the process and streamline it to make it both fun and interesting, and it does so with a wonderful sense of humor. And much of the fun comes from simply coming up with and naming the craziest games you can think of and then seeing how well they're received. It may not teach you much about how games are actually made, but Game Dev Story is a perfect example of what a great game looks like.

This game was previously featured in Mobile Monday.


Shouldn't this have gone under Mobile Monday? It looks good and all, but it really frustrates me when an awesome-looking game turns out to be a freakin' iPhone exclusive. >_


Yeah it really is a shame, it seems like a very fun game and i've heard a lot about it.
there IS a pc version but it's fully in japanese.
Let's just hope it gets translated.


Apparently this one was good enough to deserve a separate review.


I want to play it... but I have no iPhone T_T


This was actually featured on Mobile Monday before, but we liked it so much we thought it deserved its own feature to better discuss it. You can always find the platform clearly marked at the top of every review, right below the title, in orange text. :) I'm sorry you were disappointed, but we think if a game is great, it deserves the full treatment regardless of platform.


I too was disapointed that it turned out to be only for the mobile set. I did go back and find the little text thing, but a sentence along the lines of "developed for iphone" or "those of you out there with mobile phones are going to love this one" in the body of the review would probably prevent that confusion. :) Frankly I've been wondering about "Mobile Monday" for a while- how many users play games on their phones compared to on notebooks and PCs? (Honest curiosity there, not snark.) Between that and the weekend download I usually don't spend any quality time here Saturday-Monday.

Still, hopefully this page will soon fill with comments about the actual game! :)


This is the first mobile game to have a full review?!
(sniff, save us flash developers ;C )


No chance this is coming to the Android market anytime soon, is there? *sigh*
For those of us who don't own the iPhone, I found a link to the Japanese site that will allow you to download the game to your PC for free.


Oh noes, Protocol Wars! If JiG is going for platform-independent full reviews, I can get along with that. I mean it's fair enough, right? Customarily though, any full review I encountered would be for a game I had the option of playing. (Which may just mean I'm not a Mac user who's gotten used to tripping over the various PC downloadables, come to think of it.) Maybe along with the JiG format change though, a bit of a heads-up in the review would keep some of those bottom lips from quivering. Like JiG does with "[Warning: This game is not intended for children.]". Just my personal take on it. I know I assumed this was a flash game, and was about to go load it up. I've learned my lesson though. Coffee first, early-morning browsing immediately after. =)

As for the game concept itself, how neat! What a great way to give someone a concept of how an industry or job sector works (well, other than advertising on the moon and suchlike). I can't wait 'til a lot of the stuff we'd like to learn about is conveyed through game form. Schools wouldn't be compulsory, they'd be downloadable and you'd have to remember to stop to eat once in a while! Right on.

Richard Davey November 8, 2010 11:52 AM

I really love this game! It's incredibly addictive, amusing and challenging.

What I don't understand is the interface - it's about as un-iPhone as you can possibly get. It feels like a (really) lazy port from another mobile device. The graphics don't fill the screen and some of the hit areas for the scroll regions are insanely tiny (almost as if the game was designed for use with a stylus of some kind).

None of these things stop me from playing it at every chance I get mind you :)



Unlike you I probably spend more time here sat-mon than during the week. Weekend downloads is the best part of the site for me.

A great job is done sifting through the tons of mobile games to point us at a few good ones each week, although I wish the format would be 2 iphone and 2 android each week instead of 4 alternating; some of us only have one device or the other.

Founded1992 November 8, 2010 3:37 PM

*sigh* all the best games seem to be on something i can't get D:

somebody should post the link to the Japanese version. id like to see :3

damn just read the post...sry! lol maybe i can convert it

can someone help me with the Japanese link? cant find the *download* button :P


yeah, when it was on mobile monday, I was already bemoaning its mobile-only form! How interesting that a mobile game gets its own review. It must be really good!


how come no one has linked to the mobile Monday this was in yet?

jnighlight November 8, 2010 8:41 PM

Hey, I would like a favor to all those people out there that do this sort of thing:
Would you mind translating that game into English, because that sucker looks fun. Thank you so much, should you choose to accept this mission.


5/5 with 25 votes! The best sscore I've ever seen! I guess I gotta play this one.


I love this game! I've played a couple of hours on it and it's awesome.

fuzzyface November 9, 2010 7:00 AM

I played the japanese version for a bit, but, well I've no clue, text is essential to this. Otherwise I would try it with my Android if available.


Wheres a Facebook version for people who want to play it on they're computer. Although almost everything is changed.


Guest, if the English PC version is made, it won't be on Facebook. The Japanese version isn't!


How do you get a license for a video game console??? I can't find it!


Never mind! Power of posting, I guess? If anyone else is having trouble, you just click where it says, "PC Game" and press the left/right arrows until you find the console you want. Then, you click, "License Negotiation", buy a license, and you have a license!

Game dev story guy November 28, 2010 4:45 AM

I was just noticing that a lot of people here are complaining about it being iPhone only, but I have this game on my first generation iPod so, it seems it is possible to get it on somthing other than the iPhone.


I have this game for the iTouch and I just can't stop playing it! It's so much fun. I can't wait for the 2nd one to come out! (they announced that they are working on a sequel)


Good news for all us Android owners! This game is now on Android market!



It's on Android too now!


Can anyone tell me if there is an end to this game, or do I just keep getting slightly richer and making more classy games for ever? There is a danger that I will never do anything else in my life. That 'just one more go' comment is right on the nail.


And the tiny buttons do get somewhat tedious... It's better to play on an iPad at 2x magnification :P


Just for people who think this is iPhone exclusive; The game is now avaliable for sale (and free trial) in the Android market.
I play it on my Galaxy 5 it it is brilliant!


This is not just an Iphone game, it is also available on the android marketplace so it not just an apple app game anymore.

Adriana March 4, 2011 8:30 AM

I wish it was just a regular game on this site. It looked really amazing ! I love games that include sims. I really wanted to play this game on a regular computer. You should think about my comment. I really believed in this game.


This game is the reason I haven't slept properly for two days.


I must say that this is the most addictive game I ever played. First playthrough, 22 years, second 57 years and now I'm about 6 years into my third playthrough xD
Should get a BIG sticky label "HIGHLY ADDICTIVE!"

Love it !


How do you go about getting a hardware engineer ....


How can you create sequels and consoles on your own??


Get a hardware engineer. Do this by level 5ing all other jobs, and getting lvl3 office.

SanchezIsNaz November 13, 2011 12:35 AM

How to upgrade to lvl 3 office..? First time i played it,it was possible for the consecutively i just cant upgrade to lvl 3 is there something wrong..? I already surpassed the 5.0k needed bt im nt prompted to upgrade my office..help..! :(


You won't believe it, but when i published the earthbound series, they werent popular, but when i published a legend of zelda Game (because i was short of money) , it gave millions of money!


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