How I Lost an Entire Day (Also Known As Game Dev Tycoon & Candy Box)

Game Dev Tycoon Office Level 1

Addictive time suck that I just can’t get enough of! ~Annette

Seriously, I am Game Dev Tycoon as I write this and had major jitters all weekend (well, mostly Sunday and Monday) as I hadn’t been able to play. I’ve just started my 4th studio (Irrational Games) and finished my first game (Medal of Honour, yes with a U). The only thing more addicting than this game are those Waffeletten cookies I bought at the grocery store last week.

My love affair with sim games is well known; Roller Coaster Tycoon is still one of my favourite sim games of all time. And up until a month or so ago I couldn’t go a day without playing Sims Social and SimCity Social on Facebook, may they rest in peace. So I must really thank my husband for indulging me with a sim that combines my love of sim games with my love of games in general.

Game Dev Tycoon starts you off in a dingy garage (most likely your own, maybe a neighbour’s), allowing you to grow into a game dev giant a la EA or Activision depending on the success of your software. As you move up in the industry you can hire staff, train your team to increase their usefulness around the office and create your own R&D department. You also have several research options available to you in between development cycles provided you have enough Research points; there are new topics to discover or engine options like full motion videos and voice overs to unlock which help you design more powerful engines to help you with your plans for complete domination.

Game Dev Tycoon – Office Level 2

Successfully pairing topics and genres creates point combos awarded once you publish your game and set it free upon the world. But just as in the real world, sometimes what we think are epic masterpieces will flop, profits won’t be there and we’ll be forced to pick up silly contract work to make ends meet. One of the things I like to do is create something like Final Fantasy titled the same and see just how close the review scores I receive from the fake gaming magazines comes close to what the real game ended up with. So far I think the closest I’ve ever seen was the average 8.25 score I got for my Gears of War knock-off “Dudes of War”.

I dabbled in developing games for the Gameling (Gameboy) and Playsystem 1 & 2 (PlayStation), avoided most other platforms, but found the majority of my success making PC games. Always chasing that still elusive perfect 10s goal.

But Game Dev Tycoon wasn’t the only game behind Friday. There was this other game I had seen friends talking about on Facebook and Twitter called Candy Box. An ASCII art game where you collect and trade disgusting amounts of candy just as soon as you discover you aren’t supposed to eat it all. After throwing 100 candies on the ground and ingesting another couple thousand or so, I realized that I could get lollipops and in turn plant those to grow more.

After leaving the game running in a tab for a while as I worked in my little game studio, I came back to find a merchant offering to sell me a sword. Oh! That meant there was more to this than I first believed. Always a good sign. Next came the Quest tab and I bravely took up my sword to take on what dangers awaited in the forest and beyond. Which reminds me that I am currently stuck trying to slay a dragon in the castle and could really use an increase in HP…..

And back… because I died trying to slay the dragon again. I need to brew more invulnerability potions in the cauldron I found a quest or two back. Mostly because the sorceress in the hut doesn’t seem to have any buffs for the armour I found and my level 5 flaming sword still is no match for the beast. Also, is it just me or does the merchant look like the Fourth Doctor to you, too?

Please tell me you see it and that I am not crazy.

Is it any wonder I lost my whole Friday? I mean, they pulled me in so hard I didn’t even touch Soul Hackers or Skyrim. SKYRIM! Really. I think that kinda sorta means something.

If you are interested in either, you can visit Greenheart Games’ website to buy Game Dev Tycoon for yourself at the completely reasonable price of $7.99 or open a new tab and check out Candy Box!

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