I imagine that being an F1 driver can be a stressful job. There is a lot of pressure to perform and you’re competing against the best drivers in the world all while trying not to die as you drive as fast as possible. That element is part of what makes motorsports exciting to watch. However, I think a lot of casual observers don’t realize how much happens behind the scenes of a top level motorsports team to keep them competitive. A lot of important decisions need to be made during a race that all have a massive impact on the possible results. The new Motorsport Manager game published by SEGA aims to give players a taste of what its like to manage nearly all aspects of a pro-level racing team.
Imagine a game like SIM City but all about racing and that is close to what you get with Motorsport Manager. Players not only manage the physical facilities of their team, they also have to manage sponsorships, staff, drivers, and of course racing strategy.
While I am a traditionalist when it comes to racing games, I have to say that I had a lot of fun playing Motorsport Manager. It seems over whelming at first given just how many decisions players can make inside and outside of a race but luckily there is a great tutorial feature which walks through all the different variables that players can control during a race.
How many times have you watched an F1 race and thought “they should have changed tires sooner” or “they should have given the new parts to the other driver”. This game literally gives you the chance to make those decisions in a simulated environment. Tire strategy, fuel strategy, pit stop management, all of that is up to you and you watch it all unfold from a bird’s eye view with a cool “tilt shift” effect (which can be turned on in the game’s video options).
If you are a fan of AI simulators (sims) and motorsports then you will absolutely love this game. Even if you aren’t big on sims the motorsport aspect will pull you in as well. While the concept was pretty daunting to me at first, after a while I felt myself on the edge of my computer chair wondering just how the choices I made would play out before the race was over.
By the way, the race lengths can chosen in the menus. Also, once in a race there is something of a “fast forward” button that speeds up the action in case you get tired of watching tiny open wheel cars race around. Before you ask, yes you can hire and fire drivers. You can also nurture new talent coming up through the ranks and even poach drivers away from other teams! Motorsport Manager gives you the freedom to be as maniacal as you want (which I love).
The game isn’t perfect though and it does have its problems, though to me they aren’t totally deal breakers but that may be different for you. Probably the biggest downside to Motorsport Manager is that they do not have official licensing from any actual racing series. The game is very closely modeled after F1 however the team names and such are all imaginary. I would have really liked to be able to take on the role of Mercedes AMG PETRONAS team manager trying to control the rivalry between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
I would also criticize that there perhaps might be too much to manage in this game. Making the calls during races is the most exciting part of this game to me and what I think will be the hook for many fans. Having to manage the physical facilities sim-city style is interesting but compared to the high tension in-race strategy aspect of the game, planning out buildings and creating theme parks near the HQ to earn money kind of falls flat at times.
Finally, I really wish this game was on consoles. For now it is a PC only affair. There is a less-elaborate version of Motorsport Manager on mobile devices though. Honestly though, this is a bit of a selfish gripe because my PC is really old and can barely run this game while I’m sure my Xbox One could handle it quite well. At the same time, with all the parameters that Motorsport Manager involves, it would probably be pretty difficult to navigate everything with a controller rather than a keyboard and mouse.
When all is said and done though, I had a lot of fun playing Motorsport Manager and in the end that is kind of the point. Your results may vary depending on the type of gamer you are though. I would probably recommend playing the mobile version of Motorsport Manager first and if you find yourself enjoying it (and you have a PC that is less than 5 years old) I would highly suggest trying out the PC version of Motorsport Manager!
- Addictive game play
- Fun concept
- Lots of choices to make
- Lots of customization
- Cool visual presentation
- No officially licensed teams or drivers
- Facility management pales against race strategy management
- PC Only
Despite a few short comings ultimately I had a great time playing this game and would recommend giving it a try