After loving Start up Panic and be reminded of how much I loved Game Dev tycoon, seeing this pop up was an obvious choice. You can see my first play here.
This has got the vibes of the Windows 3.1 era of development and way back to the times when Jobs, Gates & Wozniak actually did all work together (before it went south). This probably why all but one of the characters you can choose to play is male as that’s what it would have been like… but you know some more female representation (given the game has been around since 2017) would have been nice.
The premise is that you sell your calculator and start building a home computer porotype to sell.
This is first introduction into the frustration that is this games UI and it makes zero sense that components end up being as expensive as they are.
No sooner than you finish your first PC build are then you told to look for a site to build your factory etc – this interface is so much worse; And I simply do not understand how money works in this game as its seemingly meaningless to have so much upfront cash if you were starting out of a garage.
This game has been in early access for 5 years and at £15.49 its a lot to ask.
It is overly complicated and reading through the reviews there is a common theme that this game is clunky, unintuitive and with a poor UI (some of these reviews are from 2017) so when I had this interaction with the dev and was then asked not to write a review… I didn’t like that.
Its been given the same feedback since 2017 in Steam reviews and its clearly not improved enough in that time – why should people be paying for early access when they aren’t being listened to? I was clicking around randomly because its just not intuitive – and after 4 plays through of Start up panic I have smashed it – so its not like I don’t like games like this. There is no learning curve with this game, its not fun and as one reviewer on Steam said “it feels more like a chore” and I agree.
At some point I think anyone who works long term on a project should be honest with themselves about how valid and efficient it is to continue. In October this game will have been around for 5 years, with the same issues and complaints being raised about it since then with no improvement to gameplay – this is one of those times to cut your losses and start something new.
0 paws out of 5
The UI is awful, its unintuitive and it hasn’t really improved in the nearly 5 years it has existed on Steam. Time to move on to your next dev project and take the lessons learned from this one. There is only so long you can flog a dead horse for.
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