Jan 27

Review: Game Dev Tycoon


Budget: 8.99 € on Steam
Developer: Greenheart Games
Available Systems: PC, Mac, Linux
Tested System: PC (Steam)

gamedev1The brothers Patrick and Daniel Klug were inspired by the Game Dev Story by Kairosoft, which was released on the iOS, but soon realized that the game could offer so much more. In 2012 they founded Greenheart Games to develop their own version of a Game Dev simulation in a way that it would offer a more realistic version. It was in December 2012 that Game Dev Tycoon was released but it was only released on Steam in August 2013 after being awed at in the Steam Greenlight.


It is in the early 80s and you, much like everyone else, want to become a game developer during the Golden age of arcade video games. You start small as you set up your office in your garage and spend hours to come up with the perfect game. Having no employees, limited money and a very limited range of choices for your first game makes it essential that your first two games kick off from the start or else you’ll go bankrupt. As you (or your games) become more successful you unlock new options, your skills improve and you can start building your own game engines. By then you can move to new offices and hire staff. Once settled in the last office, you can unlock an R&D lab where you can have people do research to further expand your company by creating consoles, online game shops and even MMO’s.

Game play

gamedev3The game play is straight forward. You start small and have to build your way up to become successful in the gaming industry. As you first play the game, you will be prompted with a tutorial which is well explained. As the years go by (at least in-game), you will unlock more genres and topics to build your game. A nice feature is that you can name the games whatever you like. You can even name your company however you like. Want to make Valve or Ubisoft but creature different games than they currently have? Feel free to do so! In total there are six genres to pick from: Action, Adventure, RPG, Simulation, Strategy and Casual (latter one unlocks during research). Once you’re progressed through the game, you will be able to research Multi-Genre Games which means you can then create an Action/Adventure game. You will start with eight randomized game topics but once you have unlocked them all there should be 52 game topics. Want to create a Surgery Simulation similar to Surgeon simulator or perhaps even a Virtual Pet Simulation? It’s all possible in Game Dev Tycoon. In fact, in Game Dev Tycoon you can make a Game Dev Simulation game called Game Dev Tycoon. Inception much?

gamedev2You’re most likely thinking “What about platforms?” after all that talk about the games themselves but don’t worry! Game Dev Tycoon even has the various platforms covered. From the Comodore G64, Gameboy and even NES to the latest Playstation 4 and Xbox One. They even went one step further and have a Playstation 5. Each of these platforms unlock by the years and will be taken off the market accordingly. You will finish the game once you reach year 35 but that doesn’t mean you have to stop right there. If you want to see if you can achieve greater things, you can simply continue playing and progress in more years. Just keep in mind that after Year 35, they will not be releasing newer platforms. Oh and one small thing, remember to save your game after Year 35. I may have forgotten that and had to go through it once more.

As for the graphics, it’s a game. Of course the graphics will be slightly cartoonish but Greenheart Games made sure that it’s still fairly realistic. You will have an old car in your garage that is half covered and a big PC. As you progress through the years, your items will be upgraded. By the end you will be working on triple flat screen monitors!

If you’re tired of your current company and want to play around in a new one, you can simply make a new game and start back in the 80s without losing your awesome company. Simply put, you can spend endless hours in Game Dev Tycoon, constantly trying out new things!

Final Conclusion

Game Dev Tycoon overwhelms you with the amount of choices you can make which makes it a great game. If you plan on trying this game out, make sure you have at least a couple of hours free to do so since this is one of those games where you completely lose track of time.

Scoring: ★★★★☆


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