Publisher Dream

6.0 Overall Score

Decent representation of publisher's woes I Doubles as an office decoration sim

Low customization I Can't fire employees I

Have you ever dreamed of creating your own video game? Being able to decide the genre, boss peons around, and create a successful publishing company? Well then, Publisher Dream is the perfect game for you. Made by Circle Entertainment, Publisher Dream puts you in control of your own video game publishing company, Triangle. You start out at the bottom with two employees and a small dinky office. As you progress you will create more and more games, hire more workers, and upgrade your office in the name of video games.

When making a game you have several important decisions. First you must select the genre of game you want to make. When you begin, only three genres are available, but as you accumulate more fame and fans you will unlock more genres and be able to make larger games. Your second decision is who to select to make each game. Depending on the size of the game, you must select a programmer, a designer, a musician, and decide whether you want to promote the game. Each of your employees has skills that determine how effective they are with certain roles. Logic, creativity and management skills all factor into whether you end up with a huge hit or a disastrous flop. Trust me, the fans will let you know when you produce a lemon.

The hardest part of Publisher Dream is keeping track of your cash flow. Having to access a menu and tab over to a separate page seems like a little much when all you want to know is whether or not you’re going to be bankrupt next month. The game is forgiving and will bail you out three times if you go below zero dollars, but after that your company is shut down and you have to start a new game. The biggest advice for new imaginary business owners is to not overinvest in the beginning of your career. Yes, it is nice to have a full staff, but when most of your employees aren’t being assigned to games, you end up paying them to do nothing. The décor in your office can also be a bank breaker. Be careful of what you buy because monthly payments for plants, bookshelves and sofas add up quickly.

The biggest disappointments with Publisher Dream come with the lack of customization. Whereas in other simulators you can create your own game names, Publisher Dream forces you to live with EDU #1, STG #3, or many other bland combinations. Half the fun of Game Dev Story was coming up with fun game names. Another big disappointment is that once you hire someone, you can’t get rid of them. After inevitable mistakes you’ll wish you could fire some employees, but the game doesn’t allow it. You buy it, you’re stuck with it. Also, the game doesn’t go very far into detail and forces you to learn as you go. It would be nice to see more explanations about employee’s skills or what the rating systems associated with each genre mean. The many grammatical mistakes in the game’s text can be overlooked, but the lack of tutorial is disheartening.

The big question is, is this game truly a dream? Given a choice of  the best simulator games, Publisher Dream wouldn’t be an option on the table. While it may not live up to the likes of games like Game Dev Story or Game Dev Tycoon, Publisher Dream still helps those DS and 3DS fans who are craving a new simulator. Publisher Dream is out now on the Nintendo eShop and will run you $1.99.

A review copy of Publisher Dream was provided to The Married Gamers for review.

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Author: Loren Nikkel View all posts by
Hardcore Xbox and occasional PC gamer. I love to play multiplayer and co-op games where strategy is key.

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