Game Corp DX PC Developed by Endless Loop Studios Released in 2015
For a while there was a rush of video games putting you in charge of making more video games. Game development tycoons are a natural fit for an audience guaranteed to be into video games already and, when done right, an interesting way to get a peek behind the curtains. Yet Game Corp DX stands out as a more humble entry, which made me worry if it could compete with titles like Game Dev Story and Game Dev Tycoon.
Nobody leaves Vancouver
In Game Corp you run a starting game development studio, with a small office and 0 employees. You need to do everything, from expanding and decorating the office, hiring and training new employees, all the way to deciding what games are going to be made. That Game Corp runs on a significantly smaller scale than the likes of Game Dev Tycoon is made obvious quickly. You have a paltry amount of employees to choose from, whose statistics tend to be simplistic and somewhat unimportant. Similarly, creating a game is a matter of deciding the scope (altering how many people will work on it), picking a genre and then assigning people to various roles.
Games consists of code, art, sound, and writing, with the training cubicle allowing you to specialize people in either of those four categories to give them access to tools that make their work better. After a pre-production phase where the team discusses the game, everybody moves to their cubicle and does the work assigned to them, with their statistics in the related fields and access to better tools deciding how well it goes. You then publish the final product, critics score it, and the whole thing goes on sale to generate revenue and fund new hires, more training, and future projects.
Progression through the game is rather rigid. Your first office has limited space and by following the tutorial and subsequent missions, you soon unlock access to the Vancouver office which allows more room for expansion and has more missions. From there you move up twice more to different cities to get increasingly large offices, but your current office also limits your options literally. Until you proceed you can’t train your characters beyond an enforced limit and some furniture is also barred off until you get further. This is annoying, as some missions force you to play the game its way. An example would be the one that demands you “hire everybody in Vancouver”, which forced me to hire more employees than I felt my company needed and sell off items in my office to make space for more cubicles to fit those people in.
There is little strategy involved in the game. Statistics are quick to max out and from there you just make sure you put coders on coding and artists on art, et cetera, then publish the final product and rake in the money. Sometimes cash is short and instead of making the biggest game possible you make several smaller games, which is as far as planning in this game goes. On top of that there are a bunch of frustrations, like meetings don’t proceed if any single employee is getting food or water, which often put me in meeting deadlock as workers took turns leaving the table to get refreshments. Likewise you can’t move people to another project when their part is done until the whole game is complete, meaning you might be paying 2 artists to sit around the office for two months, waiting for the coders to finish their part of the project.
It’s a simplistic game and while it is enjoyable to watch your little dudes design a game and make sure they are trained to deliver the best product possible, the game is so small in scale there is little actual effort required from you. On top of that the forced mission structure is restricting and in walling off content until players progress it denies them what little depth the late-game offers. Perhaps if it allowed you to use late-game options from the start, but made them financially risky, it could have served as a more organic barrier. As it stands Game Corp DX is just kind of boring, and while it may feel petty to demand more content considering its low price point, this game just doesn’t have enough to it to serve as a management simulator.
Gameplay score: 3/10
Nothing out of the ordinary
No reason to spend much time on this segment: Game Corp DX utilizes a simplistic, but wholly inoffensive cartoon art-style. You can discern what any given sprite is supposed to be and the various characters have randomized, fun designs, with a number of celebrity cameos here and there. The interfaces are efficient and easy to read, which I know isn’t exactly high praise. In this field Game Corp is just competent; you won’t be excited with what you get to see, nor will it be a bother unless you were somehow expecting advanced, realistic graphics from a cheap management game.
Presentation score: 6/10
It’s unlikely you’ll somehow have less fun playing this game than the small entry fee is worth, but I find it a flawed argument to use its price as an excuse. At 3 euros you can hardly go wrong and I did get an hour and a half out of this game before I got well and truly bored with it, yet that is 90 minutes and 3 euros that could have gone towards playing something much more engaging. I don’t think the perfect game development tycoon exists yet and Game Corp DX is, regrettably, not even trying to be in the race for that title.