May 15, 2013

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Publisher Dream Review

Publisher Dream Review

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It’s easy for gamers to proclaim that they could develop better games than some of the developers out there. But it’s not as simple as just choosing which genre and console to go with. It takes time, money, and a bit of luck to produce a highly popular title. Not to mention the need for talented employees. CIRCLE Entertainment’s Publisher Dream isn’t the first game to offer gamers to chance to prove that they have what it takes to create a best-selling game. However, it is the only one available in Nintendo’s eShop.

The premise of Publisher Dream is easy to comprehend. You run your very own game studio named Triangle that is complete with a couple employees. With the nine years you are given to rise to the top and publish massive hits, there is no real need for a background story for your studio. Nor does CIRCLE Entertainment use names for any of the consoles you publish titles for. Those who might want to think up a reason behind the creation of Triangle can do so while those who prefer to just play the title for what it is can do so as well.

While the premise of the title is easy, the gameplay can come off as difficult. Especially when you consider the fact that there isn’t any real in-depth instructions. Those who might be concerned about learning the ins and outs will be happy to know that there is a tutorial to help you out. While it does a good job at explaining the major points, there are details that got left out. Some details are easier to figure out than others.┬áIt can be a real learning process to balance the amount of funds that you pay out each month with the income you receive each quarter. In the beginning, it is possible that you will run out of money. Luckily, you can be bailed out when this happens. This can be very helpful when you are starting out and trying to get the hang of things. Another thing that is possible is to run out of energy. Each title you produce requires a set amount of energy from you staff. If you don’t have enough, you are not able to create a title until it fills back up.

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Despite being in charge of Triangle, your input for how a game is developed is rather limited. When you first start a project, you are given the chance to pick a genre and size. In the beginning, your options will be small. It is only as you progress that you are able to develop larger titles in the usually popular genres such as action and RPG. Once your selection is made, the game makes you wait for status bar for the product line to be filled. There isn’t much to do within this time frame which will likely turn off some players. In fact, you really can’t do much other than choose a genre, size, and price point. Each choice does have somewhat of an effect on how well the game does. This is one of my biggest complaints with the game. After playing a title like Game Dev Story or Game Dev Tycoon that allowed you more control over how a game was produced, Publisher Dream felt as if it was trying to make things simpler for the player. Though this is not necessarily a bad thing, I do feel like it hindered my experience with the game and with the role of game studio owner.

If you’re not used to relying on the touch screen of your DSi or 3DS, it will take some time to get the hang of Publisher Dream‘s controls. You can use your stylus to access the menus for hiring new staff or adding furniture that helps boost your staff’s stats. As mentioned above, the flow of funds to and from your company are on a bit of an odd schedule. This really plays a part in handling additions to staff and furniture. You will feel the need to hire better employees as the time goes on. One flaw, however, is that once a staff member has been hired, there is no option for firing them later on. This can prove to cause some issues when it comes time to paying your staff each month.

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If you enjoyed the graphics of the iOS title Game Dev Story, then the chances are good that you will like those in Publisher Dream. That said, I found the graphics to be really nice. Though they are not smooth looking, I did like that they were bright and have that retro feel to them. The music used in Publisher Dream is very upbeat and there is a minimal amount of sound effects.

Given that you are allotted nine years to boost the recognition of your game studio, it is possible to complete the game within six or so hours. A perk to the game is that it is easy to play in short bursts. With the inclusion of achievements that reward you with extra funds and energy, you will might want to put in a couple playthroughs.

Publisher Dream might not expand on the game making simulation genre. However, I do think that it is a good alternative for those who might not be able to play Game Dev Story or the PC title, Game Dev Tycoon. If you have a DSi or 3DS and enjoy the game development simulation, this is a decent title to play. Otherwise, it might be best to pass on this.

Publisher Dream
Platform:3DS, DSi
Genre: Simulation
Release Date: May 9, 2013
Developer: CIRCLE Entertainment
Publisher: CIRCLE Entertainment
ESRB Rating: E
MSRP: $1.99


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