Game Builder Garage is a game where you make games yourself rather than letting trained developers do it for you. If that sounds like a lot of hard work then Game Builder Garage probably isn’t going to be your flavour of choice. But if that sounds like a lot of hard work that you’d actually like to have a pop at, the question is does it deliver enough to actually make it a worthwhile purchase?
The whole thing is split into two convenient parts, Interactive Lessons and Free Programming. The former takes you through the basics of how the game works through seven appropriately interactive lessons, hosted by Bob, the indeterminate speck. Now let’s not beat around the bush, game development deals with an incredible number of abstract concepts, including but not limited to the bane of every schoolchild: maths. For some these ideas will click almost instantly, but for others it’s a right old nuisance to wrap one’s head around, and so a game like this can easily live or die by its tutorials.
Thankfully we’re pleased to say that on the whole Game Builder Garage’s lessons are a triumph; you’ll be making pre-planned games from scratch, suitably blending visual and kinaesthetic learning theories in a way that initially holds your hand the first time you do something, but then upon repeat instances stops directly highlighting the buttons you need to navigate to and simply gives you a brief and clear command, such as ‘let’s set this object’s colour to yellow’. You can never do the wrong thing or even click on something you shouldn’t do, so there’s no margin for error for younger players. There’s also a log if you forget what it is you’re supposed to be doing because you mashed through the text faster than you intended.