Game Dev Story will keep you up very late.
There's something about the feedback loop in this game that lands you in that ultra-sweet place called "just one more..." While playing Game Dev Story, I often thought that I should just quit and go to bed, but the game wouldn't let me!
It dangles carrots like it's going out of style. And the best thing is that you get to name your company (mine was "Not Bad Games"), your company's games and your console, if you manage to make one.
While this game is technically a sim, it really is more akin to a gambling game. You basically pull the slots, listen to the slot machine sounds, and hope that you get big rewards. And to make you feel extra good, the odds are heavily in your favor. And this is where the game breaks down.
Once I got past the hump where I was making mediocre games, every single game I made ended up in the Hall of Fame, and more often than not, they would sell over 20 million units. Despite this, I never did win the Best Game Award in the annual award show. Nor did I ever win the worst one, so that's cool. But there are several other awards you can win, and I won them all--often.
So, while it's thrilling to build your company up to the point where you can really start making some good stuff, once you get there, the game becomes completely mindless. You allocate all the best resources to your game's development cycle, sell a grillion units, do some lunar writing to advertise, attend Gamedex (E3), complete with booth babes, and repeat.
There was a moment in the game that helped break up the repetition, and that was when I developed my own game console, the "Gamenheimer EX", a 64-bit BD-ROM console. But unlike the other console makers, your game company is only allowed to have one console on the market at a time, and since I picked the top of the line options for my first console, I never made another one. Why would I discontinue the Gamenheimer when it held the highest user base of all the consoles? But I really did want to make the Gamenheimer 2D, the handheld of my dreams.
So, while the game becomes repetitive in the second half of the experience, being able to tell your friends about all the games you made is pretty much worth it. And I mean, it's a $0.99 game. Not bad for about 10 hours of cute entertainment. Not Bad Games' softography is below, in chronological order by release date...
The Dank Hole
Sloppy the Dog
The Gay Train
Towny Town USA - my first million-seller
Quite A Riot
Pies Vs. Pies
Game Dev Hell
A Sweaty Romp
Duels of Yore
Game Title: Game Dev Story
Release Date: 09th Oct 2010