In Startup Freak you take the role of a budding entrepreneur, and grow your very own software startup from humble beginnings to a multi-million dollar company. Along the way you will have to overcome countless challenges. But the ultimate question you must answer: are you a Startup Freak?
All Reviews:
Mixed (25) - 68% of the 25 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date:
Apr 12, 2018

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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“The game is very much playable and fun as it is today. But a game in this genre begs community input to help with balancing, general improvements, and most importantly adding new features that you like to see.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“We plan on spending a minimum of 5-6 months to take the game into full release, however depending on the amount of community feedback and interest we may extend this. Also remember: a full release doesn't mean we won't continue to improve the game!”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“We will be looking for player feedback on what features to work on, but we also have ideas for our own! All changes can be categorised into three areas:


  • Balancing improvements
  • Ongoing bug fixes
  • Minor UI improvements


  • Translations (see note below)
  • Adding meaningful effects to tasks at Level 10+
  • Tutorial improvements


  • Late-game challenges such as lawsuits / patent protection of features
  • New industries / product types
  • Complete overhaul of the store/shop UI
  • Other requested features

Note on Translation

The game already has support for localisation, however the expense of having the game professionally translated is not within our current budget. This may change depending on how well the game does, however we are also looking into crowd-sourcing it. If this is something you want to help with, please let us know!”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“All features described in the About this Game section are implemented. You are able to build out a product, hire employees, rent different offices and furnish them, market your product, manage infrastructure, pitch to investors for cash, change your branding, and more. There is a simple progression system via Milestones, whereby you try meet various goals for each milestone. Currently the "win condition" for the game involves selling your company for the highest possible valuation.

The game is quite stable and playable in its current state. You can play the game from start to finish, and there is a clear win state. Bugs are always in the forefront of our mind, as we would like to maintain a stable and playable build.

Note: we do have a mechanism for forward migrating game save files and we will do our best to maintain comparability with every release. However there are situations where this is impractical and you won't be able to load your save game, during early access.”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“At this point the plan is to increase the price slightly (probable $1-$2) before going into full release. Short discount periods will be available at the beginning of both early access, and full release.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“Since the beginning of development, all features, tasks, and bugs have been publicly visible on our Trello board. Furthermore community interaction also happens on on discord as well as email. Additionally we will introduce a new voting system for the community to vote on features and improvements. Stay tuned!”
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Recent updates View all (18)

August 31

Beta 0.10.0

Hi Startup Freaks!

Yes, Beta 0.10.0 is finally here and to celebrate, a 20% promotion will be kicking in shortly! Without beating around the bush, let's get into what's new:

Copycats and Patents

I had already talked a bit about this in a previous update, and it has evolved since then. Let's go over the basics:

  • Around the mid game competitors will start copying your features. Copying a feature will take several sprints so you'll have a bit of time to react.
  • A copied feature will have its rating reduced by 50%.
  • You can now "patent" a feature. You can see both the progress of your patent, as well as progress of copying (assuming the feature is being copied).
  • Patenting a feature has an upfront cash cost and uses Operation effort. So you'll need to plan accordingly. Remember, it may not be cost effective or necessary to patent every feature.

Traffic Shifts

During the game you may also receive messages telling you that the market is shifting. This means that there is a change in which regions (continent) most of your visitors are coming from. In turn and over time, your user base will also shift. Ultimately, you need to be more aware of where your servers are and move them to more optimal data centers.

Data Center Statistics

Related to the above, I have added a bunch of statistics for the data centers which describe a number of things like the percentage of total traffic that's being generated by visitors and users in each region, any external traffic being directed, and also the current server capacity. This will hopefully give a bit more clarity about what's actually happening and where you should optimally place your servers.

Other Improvements and Fixes

Other changes include:

  • Requested feature outlines now continue to display when designing performance features, security features, and tests, so that you can avoid them easily.
  • When a new network topology is researched, clicking "Open Infrastructure" in the related notification automatically opens the topology tab.
  • Opening mailbox now always automatically shows Inbox and is scrolled to the top
  • The pie chart for marketing activities now has distinct colors for each of the 15 activities (rather than white for many of them).
  • Replaced a couple of place-holder icons.
  • "Clown Conference" event now correctly displays as a negative event.
  • Reduced the pitch of all sound effects when running a sprint so it's not as harsh as before.

What's Next

I have a couple of important items that I would like to address in the next release:

  1. There is some important balancing that needs to happen, especially around the leveling of backlog tasks. Currently most backlog tasks max out their effect at level 10, and beyond that have little to no effect. I would like to either cap them out at 10, or give a meaningful use to them beyond that. Either way I'll also be looking to increase the effort curve for getting that far (it gets a little too easy towards the late game).
  2. I'll also be looking to completely change up the "store" UIs, including the furniture, offices, and branding. The current method of having the UI slide out for every item placement is just too clunky.
  3. I'm also experimenting with adding some more milestones and challenges, and some added Steam achievements.

I'm always on the look out for new and meaningful mechanics or late game challenges to added. So far I have had a couple of failed attempts at this. Mostly this is because "Startup" is such a broad topic, that most mechanics end up needing to be very abstract. Unfortunately abstract mechanics, while interesting, don't feel as satisfying of concrete things and don't make you feel the fantasy of running a real company. But that's the challenge of design!

Anyway this has gone on long enough. I'll do my best to release the next update more quickly.

Happy Staring Up!
3 comments Read more

August 15

State of Affairs #4


I thought I would quickly share a couple of screenshots to explain how to the "patent" mechanic will work. The idea is that at some point later in the game, you will start facing competitors trying to copy your better features. You'll see a message like this:

As the text explains, a copied feature incurs a rating penalty. Your options are to ignore and let it happen (can be a valid choice), or patent the feature. Features that are being copied will be flashing so you will be able to identify them. You can file a patent from the feature details screen:

Patenting has an upfront cash cost, and will use up operations effort. Both go up exponentially based on the size of the feature so you'll want to think twice about patenting every feature.

Once the feature is patented, you'll see a special striped border around it:

I'm still trying to balance this feature so the numbers are all still being changed, but so far I'm happy with the overall design and I think it adds another dimension to the game.

Besides the patent mechanic, I also wanted to pay a bit of attention to the infrastructure section. There are two changes I'm making here for the next release:

  • Adding a "detail" view. One the of the things that was sorely lacking here is numbers. You will now be able to see a few key information such as visitor vs user traffic being generated in each data center, how much traffic is coming into a data center from outside (i.e. from other data centers that are not active), and most importantly the exact server load that is being used in each data center.
  • Currently the spread of visitor traffic among regions is randomized at first but remains constant throughout each game. I am changing this so that throughout the game there are occasional shifts in where visitors are coming from. This should keep this part of a the game more dynamic and make you need to keep in top of where it's best to place servers.

I'm still a couple of weeks away form uploading this update; mostly focused on play-testing and balancing. It'll get there soon :)

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About This Game

In Startup Freak you take the role of a budding entrepreneur, and grow your very own software startup from humble beginnings to a multi-million dollar company. Along the way you will have to overcome countless challenges, from building, testing and securing your product, to devising the ideal marketing strategy and securing investment. Through it, you must ask yourself the ultimate question: are you a Startup Freak?

Build a stellar team

Your staff are everything especially in those all-important early years. Hire an awesome team, skilled in technical, design, operational, or sales aspects of your startup.

Build out your product

Create your very own product by researching the market and building bigger and better features that match your users' demands. But building features isn't everything! You must ensure they are tested and bug-free, well secured, and tuned for performance. Features can also be upgraded and enhanced, for example by incorporating responsive design, or adding accessibility.

Plan your infrastructure

Even the best software is worthless without the right hardware to run on. Manage your data centres across the world, by researching better and more powerful servers, and dealing with ever increasing and shifting user traffic to your services.

Find the right sales channels

Not every sales channel is created equal. More importantly, not every sales channel works well for all types of product. It's your job to use data, and a bit of intuition, to figure out the best go-to-market strategy and win against the odds.

Tune your pricing

Pricing software is more art than science. Plan a pricing strategy, test it, and adapt to the market.

On-board investors

Early stage startups are always in dire need of funding. But pitching your venture to a potential investor is no easy feat! Research and understand your would-be investors, put together a convincing slide-deck, and watch them offer you millions for a small share in your company. P.S. don't forget to haggle!

Deck out your office

What startup doesn't want to be the talk of town for its fancy office? Buy all sorts of gadgets and furniture for your office and give your employees yet another reason to stick around.

Make a big exit

Sooner or later, every founder wants to make an exit from their startup and see the fruits of their labours on a check. The number on that check is dependent on every single decision you have made along the way.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: 2 GHz Dual Core
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Hardware Accelerated Graphics
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Dedicated Graphics Card

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