Motorsport Manager Review

motorsport manager review

Motorsport Manager Review by JayOTT

Playsport Games struck gold back in 2014 when they released the iOS/Android version of Motorsport Manager. 1.6 million estimated sales, and a Metacritic score of 88. But a solid budget tablet game and a fully fledged computer game are two completely different things. A much higher level of quality is expected out of the latter. Was Playsport able to rise to the occasion?
motorsport manager review
Well, the launch version was a bit buggy at times, but remember, GPM2 and GPW had their fair share of bugs out of the box too. And there’s a lot to like about this game too, so my answer is yes. I have a lot to talk about in this review, so I’ll break it down by category…

Game World: Motorsport Manager does not have the F1 licence, but the fictional world that takes it’s place is interesting. The Global Motorsports Association consists of three open-wheel championship tiers, including a world championship that mimics the 2015 F1 season, with the names and circuits changed.

A nice feature made possible by this fictional world set up is that the three championships are connected by a promotion/relegation system; after each season, the constructors champions in lower tiers promote at the expense of the last placed team in the tier above.

Car/Infastructure: Car performance in MM is based around a long-term development race. To make a long story short, you choose which part to improve each time, invest the money, and some days later you get your new part.

Whilst there are gains to be made from spending money on a better chassis for next year, the chassis on it’s own won’t automatically make you a contender. Expect relatively slow and gradual progress, especially in regards to building up HQ.

Drivers/Staff: It can be argued that drivers in MM play too big a role in determining how fast you are. But perhaps the gulf between the best and worst drivers is also realistic (Taki Inoue, anyone?). Also, the good drivers do ask for a lot of money.
motorsport manager review
Staff wise, you have a Lead Designer, and two Race Mechanics. Whilst the Lead Designer isn’t as important as in GPM2 and GPW, the bonuses and perks they give are nonetheless useful in the development race. It’s a similar story with mechanics; you can probably win without great mechanics, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t sign good mechanics if you can.

Financial: Unlike GPM2 and GPW, you not the team owner, but merely the manager. You can ask the owner for more funding at the start of a new season, but in return must accept a higher championship target. Which carries a greater risk of getting fired if your results aren’t up to par.

Signing sponsor deals is heavily simplified; sponsors approach you when there’s an empty space on the car, and then you choose which deal/s to accept. A bit of a letdown if you liked GPW’s negotiation system, but not a huge loss.

On Track Affairs: Practice sessions may seem ridiculously short at first, but after actually playing for a while, I think it’s well balanced in that you do have time to find the right set-up, but have to choose which practice programs to focus on and which ones to ignore.

Qualifying has a tyre temperature mini-game which is very much a case of ‘you tried’. I like the idea of adding interactivity to the game, but this mechanic does feel a bit too fiddly. The race meanwhile gives you options to attack or conserve as you deem necessary. Much like real life, sometimes slower is faster, especially as some tracks love to overheat your tyres if you dare push at all.

Otherwise the racing is fairly similar to that of GPM2 and GPW, though there are both virtual and actual safety cars implemented into the game to add another layer of strategy to the race. The other major difference is that attrition rates tend to be very low, more in line with modern day F1.

Miscellanous: One more interesting thing about this game is that each championship starts with it’s own unique set of rules. The lower tiers allow refuelling whilst the world championship does not, for example. And these rules can change over time in a career game, as each season a number of proposed changes get put to a vote amongst the teams currently competing in that series.

Final Words: Minor problems rear their ugly head at times. One such problem is lapped traffic not understanding the meaning of the term ‘blue flag’. Patch 1.1 has just come out at the time of writing this final draft, promising to fix this and several other issues, but I’ve yet to test it myself and some are saying it hasn’t actually been fixed.

With that said, Motorsport Manager has been a lot of fun for me even in pre-patch condition. The game as a whole gets a thumbs up from me. I’ll make that two thumbs up if all the remaining bugs can be squashed.

motorsport manager review