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PC/Mac Game Review: ‘Game Dev Tycoon’

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I was originally going to write this review of Game Dev Tycoon back in June or July. However, it seemed that I was one of those miserable solo grumpy bastards who didn’t want to ever expand and thus I caused a problem within the game.  It led me to wait on the review to see if the issue would be resolved.

Let me back up for a second. Once you have a big success in the game, you are strongly encouraged to expand your game studio and move to a bigger space. As a freelance writer, I resisted this like the plague and never allowed myself to be dragged into the glamour. The game was less than accepting to that attitude until their latest patch — it would crash at the end if you never expanded and simply stuck to your place in the original garage.

Call it unprofessional or whatever you wish, but I decided not to review the less than $10 game until they fixed this game-killing bug.

Game Dev Tycoon is a very silly game that you will find very serious indeed. You will curse reviewers, your own staff, and the manufacturers of game systems. You will triumph in your genius as you sell millions of copies of the game you have always envisioned. You will smirk at the fact that a game that didn’t get good reviews sold a truckload.

You will find all this pleasure in a game that has the graphic fidelity of game from the Apple ][, You will find yourself annoyed because some asshat reviewer didn’t join in with the chorus of 10s and “only” gave you a nine.

You can head to the major conferences and spend shedloads of money to get a meh review. Or you can sit as some geek and make millions for a low-fi game that the majors deride. The game world is your oyster. As with the game industry itself, the entrance is not that expensive but the price you pay is huge. I got more pleasure having a game that sold millions of copies in this title than I have in myriad of modern spectacular games. And that is why, in the end, it is genius.

This is a very inexpensive game that will find you staying up too late and saying just “one more game.” The irony is that just means one more game you have to create. Kudos to the devs to allow you to continue past the 30 year limit if you wish.

The price of admission is rather low but dragging yourself away is rather hard. This game is genius on so many levels. The developers are quite willing to listen to reason, so expect considerable tweaks along the way.

Game Dev Tycoon is rated E (Everyone) by the ESRB.

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About Marty Dodge

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