When the team aren't sitting around admiring Apple's resplendent design choices or crying at their vastly overpriced contract plans, sometimes they use their shiny iDevices to actually play games. Here's what was being played this week:
Tom Orry, Editor - Game Dev Story
I am quite possibly six months late to the party, but I don't care. Game Dev Story was reduced to 59p a few weeks back and I couldn't resist, given the amount of praise others in the office had lavished upon it last year. And they were right. Having grown mildly addicted to this game development simulation last week, I proceeded to spend a good eight hours playing it over the weekend, constantly striving to make the next big thing.
In truth Game Dev Story is a pretty simple take on the simulation genre, with your options being really quite limited, but there's just enough going on to make you feel like you're in control. Whether you hiring, firing, training or levelling staff, developing a new game for the Whoops (Wii) console or buying Dead Bull drinks to reenergise staff, everything is building towards the release of your next game.
My current staff can churn out 34 and above rated games fairly regularly (getting them into the game hall of fame and therefore allowing me to make sequels that automatically come with a stat bonus), but there's still a thrill in seeing Ninjars 3 (food jars with martial arts skills), Clintons 2 (a romantic card game) and Fatso 2 (a fitness game) break into the 10 million copies sold elite club.
I'm currently eyeing up my own console, but seeing how I almost bankrupted myself buying a license to develop for the Whoops, I'm going to play it safe. A few more cycles of my six hall of fame games should ensure I'm set for an attack on the console market with my own machine.
Emily Gera, Staff Writer - Chicken Coup
If this game's developer needed a box quote I'd email them suggesting "Chicken Coup: Why Not?" Why not spend your commute playing a game about guiding chicken away from foxes. The farmyard niche is already filled by the likes of Farmville, sure, but this title fills the niche-within-a-niche of telephone chicken games. And, I say this with dead honesty, it's totally alright. Developer Trendy Entertainment boasts about its Unreal Engine-fuelled graphics but to be honest with you, I stare at it and I stare at it and all I really see are hens everywhere.
Maybe when it comes to iPhone games I'm just not as effected by graphics. Maybe I've grown accustomed to a world where mini-game visuals are only so-so and aren't phased either way when the games surpass their middling status. All you need to know is that this is a game about saving chickens, and sometimes that's enough.