Jan 22, 2017 Last Updated 1:11 PM, Jan 21, 2017
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Indie Game Sim Review

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Indie Game Sim provides the player with a unique, perhaps unprecedented experience

Put briefly, one is a game developer, but what this title lacks, one could argue, is all of the headaches typically associated with constructing a game, along with all of the countless hours spent. One can also compete with competitors, play their creations, and unlock items when their maps have been beaten—a sort of learning tips and tricks from them. Follow their lead and you will become a great developer with loads of cash in no time.

The soundtrack and graphics are a bit retro, but they pair nicely. Some players may be turned off by this, however. The controls are also pretty spot-on—it can be easily be played using a computer keyboard. Another great upside to this, is that one does not need to sink in an hour or two in a single session to really progress. Want to create something real quick, see how it fares? It would take five minutes, if that, depending on how big you want the map you want to be, or how much you want to customize it. The "reviews" feature is pretty neat—other "players" review what you have published and these are more funny than anything else; and ultimately you get a rating on your creation based on various parameters—the amount of content, originality, amount of fun, and so on.

It does not seem as if sales of what you publish increase over time, rather, the sales made at the "release party" are all of the sales that you will get for that given product. This is a bit unfortunate, for it would be a nice and rather realistic feature to gain more sales and watch the popularity of your creations over time; instead, your fans can only buy what you produce when you produce it. Or, it would be nice if each day (in real time) your sales increased. I think this feature would make this title solid; one finds it in just about every tycoon genre title, that (in the case of a roller coaster theme park simulator especially) sales of each store or attraction increases over time.

The player may also hope for more content

It seems that once you have bought and unlocked all of the extras, that is pretty much it. I am unsure if extra "textures" or graphics can be unlocked (think of the different styles that are in Super Mario Maker). At least this title allows the player to share his or her creations with other players, and choose how much your creation will cost to purchase and play.

One can purchase various features—such as background options, different colored blocks, and so on with the money made, to be able to further customize your future productions. One can also play other developers' creations to unlock additional items and even map sizes. These purchased items can be placed in a map at a cost per item, so putting ten of an item that costs $100 each will yield a total cost of $1000 to publish that particular map to play. This offers some risk, and hopefully this risk will pay off. Yet, it seems as if one merely follows how competitors construct their maps, then it seems pretty unlikely that you will lose any money from that creation. So, while using items that cost can be risky, it does not seem too risky (unless your entire map is made of, and replete with, items that cost).

Alternatively, if low on cash, one could make a map of just free items so that there will be no cost to publish, and you as the developer receives pure profits. However, it seems that one's sales increase when one uses those items that cost. There is also the added challenge that you have to beat whatever you create before you can publish it. You can put whatever you want in your map and try to make it as hard as possible, but this just means that you have to face that outrageously difficult map yourself.


The Verdict

Overall, Indie Game Sim is worth getting, especially for fans of platformer and/or simulation style titles, but a couple of things could be tweaked to allow for a more realistic experience. It is pretty innovative, as I have not seen other games that allow you to create something that is interactive and can be played and even sold, which is the cornerstone of this title—I believe this feature could easily expand to other genres, like an arcade shooter or a mini Castlevania-style RPG; it is also great for casual play and is fairly easy—follow the tricks of your competitors, and also the layouts of their maps—and it is fairly unlikely you would lose any money from when you publish your creation, but leaves something to be desired.

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Chris Hubbard

A fan of RPGs above other genres, Chris has been playing video games for as long as he can remember. Some of the games that had the most influence on his gaming preferences have been the Final Fantasy and the Diablo series. More recently, most of Chris' gaming time has been going toward Gems of War and Clicker Heroes (give it a try, it can be addicting), along with open-world RPGs such as Skyrim and ESO. He's also dabbled with RPG Maker software, and it is a goal of his to someday create an RPG.

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