I’ve only ever really been interested in doing the driving part of racing in videogames. It is the fun bit right? Motorsport Manager from Playsport Games hopes to change that perception.
Change it they do! I largely ignored the mobile release of Motorsport Manager for numerous reasons. One of those reasons being pig ignorant of how fully fledged such a game can be on mobile.
I was expecting a micro-transaction con job, such was my disdain for most mobile games. But releasing on the Switch gave me a chance to be proven wrong.
There is no point pretending I know how all the ins and outs of a F1 car works, or any car really. I have no idea how much of an effect a slight change of angle of a spoiler will make to downforce. Only knowing it is a thing because the coverage on TV tells me so.
It makes the idea of playing a management game based around motorsport a daunting one. Does having a limited knowledge mean I won’t get to grips with it, or it is so dumbed down, it feels insulting
Motorsport Manager does things really well. It is of course simplified to a degree, but also feels like it has tons of depth. Making it strike the right balance for enthusiasts and casual fans all at once.
I slightly intrusive tutorial gets you through the first few races, with a fair amount of handholding to introduce the mechanics. When you are let off the leash there is an appreciation for what came before.
Presentation is very technical with lots of menus and options. Mixed with avatars and images of drivers, staff, parts, buildings and tons of icons. It can feel overwhelming, however it is all introduced in a clever way. Drip feeding the info as and when it is needed.
Whilst there are a lot of menus and text options throughout, it is when the action gets to the track things change. You are presented with a really well made isometric style live qualifying and race. You select strategies and team orders and watch as your racers do their stuff.
It makes you feel like you are running a team from the pit wall, with lots of telemetry data and feedback as each race progresses. You get instant visual feedback on any action you take and the whole thing feels totally immersive.
Motorsport is obviously more than just F1 and Motorsport Manager makes sure to cover various disciplines making sure fans are given a good choice.
The depth of the game comes not just from managing your drivers. Need to keep mechanics, sponsors and others happy in various ways. All whilst balancing the books and expanding to get better. There is so much you need to do, but never does it feel like a chore.
On the Switch the option of using touch or physical controls is welcome. I found myself switching between the two a lot.
Another fear I had with the game, is the amount of information on screen at any one time. In handheld mode you have a smaller screen and things could quickly feel cluttered and hard to read. But the UI is actually well made and easy enough to follow and should be commended.
The one things that does stick out with Motorsport Manager is just how chilled the game is. I was expecting quite a stressful game, but you get the opposite. It is the perfect game to play on a lunch break, or on the train. The time just flies by as you lose yourself in the game.
For fans for motorsport there is a lot here. Opening up a side you never really get access to. For everyone else, it might seem a bit niche, but somehow it just works well to provide a wonderful experience.