iPhone game of the day: Game Dev Story

Title: Game Dev Story
Size: 7.8MB
Price: $3.99/ £2.39
Buy it now in the iTunes store:US/UK

As members of the gaming press, we spend a lot of time playing games, writing about them, and firing off critiques of hundreds of titles each year. We’re finely attuned to the ins and outs of the gaming world, but rarely do we get a real taste of our own medicine or feel for what it’s like to be in the shoes of the people who make the games we cover. Game Dev Story changes all that. Being the head of our own virtual development studio in this enthralling game development simulation is just the right mix of silly and stressful. Plus it lets us crank out hot-selling games like “Donkey Puncher RPG” and “Super Hetero Bros.” – good times indeed.

Game Dev Story tasks you with running your own studio, growing its fan base, putting together (hopefully) winning game combinations, and trying to stay financially afloat while beefing up your team’s skills and reputation. Managing cash flow and keeping your budgets in shape from one release to the next is a bit daunting at first, though it doesn’t take long to get into a solid rhythm, which is when the fun really kicks in. Hand-picking all the different elements of your newest game and seeing how it turns out after different team members have had a shot at improving it is pretty cool. Then there’s the fun and anticipation of seeing what kind of reviews it garners from game mags and the impact this has on sales.

Part of what makes Game Dev Story so entertaining is the fact that it’s thorough about covering key aspects of the game industry and development process, and it’s not afraid to poke some lighthearted fun along the way. We had to laugh when gameplay momentary halted for a half-baked press conference from “Intendro” announcing its first handheld console the “Game Kid.” Then we had to pay steep licensing fees to make games for it. Get ready to work your ass off and have a riot in the process.

Nov 1, 2010