Man, iPhone games keep getting better and better. In the last few weeks, we’ve been handed gems like Bit.Trip.Beat, DoDonPachi and Cut the Rope, adding to the already-expansive game market on the iOS platform. It’s really a great day to be a mobile gamer.
This week, the iPhone saw a new spin on the sim-management genre with Kairosoft’s Game Dev Story, a game where you play the role of the president of a newly founded game development studio, equipped with only a few employees. By managing each step in the game development process – concept, alpha, beta, bug fixes, advertising, etc – you can climb your way to the top of the game sales charts, or fall flat on your face in bankruptcy.
Throughout the game, new hardware is released, parodying actual gaming platforms, like Intendro’s “Game Kid,” and you’ll have the option of purchasing development kits and licensing for each. Because the in-game events loosely adhere to actual game industry history, you’ll have a one-up over the competition by knowing not to push all of your assets to consoles like the “Virtual Kid.”
The depth of management is fairly robust, but easy to understand. Initially, it’s a bit confusing, as someone who isn’t already intricately familiar with the game development process might not know what some of the jargon used means. However, after just an hour or so with the game, it’ll feel like you’re a seasoned pro in the gaming industry.
Our major gripe with Game Dev Story is the odd control type, which seems to be much better suited for a device with buttons. In fact, the graphical presentation seems a bit odd on the iPhone, as if it were designed for a device with a lower resolution. No, we’re not talking about the 8-bit-esque graphics, which we love, but the way the graphics seem to be a bit blurry. Not to mention, the screen size is only 65% of the iPhone screen, leaving dead space above and below. We may be way off on this one, but our theory is that this was originally a DSiWare title – or something similar – that got denied, and so was ported over to the App Store.
Game Dev Story has a price tag of four bucks, which is somewhere around $300 when translated to iPhone money. We realize it’s more expensive than your typical iPhone game, but it also does more than your typical iPhone game. If you’re active in the gaming community and have always wanted a taste of what life’s like on the other side of the industry fence, now’s your chance.
Bottom Line: Buy it.