Android Games Review: Game Dev Story (Kairo Park)

If you’re a patient player who likes strategy and numbers, then Game Dev Story is for you.  The older you are, and the more games you’ve played, then the funnier you’ll find this game.

Game Dev Story Screenshot - There's rather large black borders at the top and bottom of the screen, but that's because this was a Japanese game port from an older generation of phone

Gameplay: In Game Dev Story, you own a company which makes computer games.  You hire staff, and then direct them to build games or do short-term contract work.  The aim is to make the best selling smash hit – the better your game sells, the more money you make.  In turn, this cash can be used for investing into training for your staff, or it can be used for advertising campaigns which will increase your fan base.  The more followers you have, then the better your sales will be, hence you will earn more money.

There’s fairly strong parallels with what happens in real life, so there’s a coder, a writer, a graphics artist and a sound specialist.  It’s all very stats driven – so your staff have different attributes which will contribute to games development results.  The better your staff, the better your game – simple.  I must say I was quite amused to see that I could hire a monkey to do my coding… code monkey… get it?

Lovable bits: My eyes sparkle when I see old school pixelated graphics, so Game Dev Story looks absolutely fabulous to me.  To top it off, they’ve added some funky little flame auras when the programmers are “on fire”.  The funniest element is that the competing consoles and games are very close to real life.  So you’ll see the Playstation, Wii, Xbox 360 and Nintendo DS referred to as the Playstatus, Whoops, Microx 380 and Intendro DM.  I must have laughed out loud when seeing Double Dragon being referred to as Double Lizards, and seeing Square Enix being called Circle Pheonix.  It’s probably quite juvenile to laugh at Street Fighter II being called Street Cleaner II – but it’s still funny to see when its announced as the year’s best seller!

Honestly… I must have spent hours playing this game now – I estimate that I’ve played up to 36 hours .  This one hit really the spot for me and the reason why it’s a particularly special game is because it’s about making computer games – my childhood dream.

Verdict: 5/5 Given that I’ve spent so much time glued to my phone, I have to give it a 5 star rating.  But there are a couple of fairly large negatives: 1) the game doesn’t install to the SD Card, and 2) there’s only one save slot.  The first problem means that I’ll have to uninstall this gem eventually (because my Android phone is so low on memory capacity).  The second problem is a bit of a disaster really – honestly, how hard can it be to allow for another save slot.  I’ve just accidently saved over my ultimate game where I had a team which included a Mexican wrestler, a bear, a monkey, an Arab oil baron and a Kairo-bot!

Final Tips: GDS isn’t for everyone – just remember it’s a stats driven game (you don’t actually design any computer game).  Try the Lite version first to see if it’s your kind of thing.  If it is for you, then I suggest buying it – $2.48/¥200/£1.52 is worth it for at least 12 hours of game play.

Game Dev Story Lite QR Code

Developers: Kairo Park

Pick of the Week >> Space Keeper

Recent Android Game Reviews