Motorsport Manager for Nintendo Switch – Review

Developer: Playsport Games

Publisher: Curve Digital

Price: £11.99 (*£9.59) // $14.99 (*$11.99) *launch price until 28/03/19

Motorsport Manager for Nintendo Switch eShop page

The last racing management game I played was 1996’s Grand Prix Manager 2 back in the day when Windows 95 was the latest state of the art operating system. I adored this game and spent many hours attempting to lead my team to podium finishes while trying to avoid bankruptcy. Twenty years later, Motorsport Manager was released on PC and it immediately grabbed my attention. It looked like a modern updated version of the old game I used to love but sadly never got the opportunity to play it.

Fast forward to March 2019 and Motorsport Manager for Nintendo Switch is one of the latest games to be ported over to the console. I was really excited to hear this was being released. I never got round to playing it on the PC and wondered how well this game would translate over to the handheld platform.

Choosing the right car setup and tracking the weather are all important in qualifying sessions.

The Next Eddie Jordan?

Motorsport Manager does a great job of making you feel like you’re actually running the show as you are able to control multiple areas within your racing team. Initially, this can be overwhelming and feel like information overload but, to the game’s credit, it has a great tutorial that explains everything easily.

Personalise your character and create your own team when you start a new game.

When you start a new game you create your own character who will run your fledgling racing team. You can choose your own back story, each possessing a different advantage to suit your style of play or strategy. In my case, I decided I would be an ex-engineer which would grant me a 10% reliability to every part build.

Once you’ve customised your profile you get to brand you’re very own racing team. I wouldn’t go as far as to say you start the team from scratch because you start the game with a team of staff, drivers, cars etc. already in place. You get to decide your team name, colours, and design decals for your cars which I always love doing, and probably spend far too much time when given the option. Being able to customise the look and feel makes the team you manage feel more personal as it’s your own creation compared to one you simple just take over and manage.

The Racing Weekend

All the planning and build up behind the scenes lead up to the main weekend of racing. It took me between two and three races to fully grasp how to play through the qualifying sessions to get the most out of the cars and not make silly mistakes that would cost me grid positions. It’s not as straight forward as sending your drivers out there with the instruction to “Go as fast as you can and throw caution to the wind”. There is far more strategy and planning (with maybe a bit of luck) involved with trying to finish in pole position.

The better the car setup, the quicker your lap times will be. Improvements cost skill points so keep an eye on how many points you have left to spend.

To ensure you post the quickest lap times during qualifying sessions your car setup has to be optimised as best it can. You have the option of choosing different areas of the car to tinker with, each costing you a different approximate amount of skill points to carry out. The amount of skill points you can spend depends on the skill of the mechanic assigned to that car/driver. This section is not dissimilar to a mini-game of Blackjack. For example, one car improvement may cost between 1 – 4 points, depending on the true value when you choose that option, that value gets deducted from your total skill points available. Then it depends how risky you are as a player whether you want to risk carrying out another improvement that costs between 5 – 12 points when you only have 6 points left available to you. If you go ‘bust’ you lose your improvements to your car and your opportunity to improve your car setup is wasted, for that pit stop at least.

Deciding when to call your cars in for a pit stop is crucial during a long race.

It’s all very well being the quickest car around the track in qualifying, if you get your strategy wrong on race day then all that hard work would have gone to waste. Timing your pit stops perfectly to get an advantage over your rivals, as well as judging when to instruct your drivers to push the engine to the limits are all key to podium glory. Make a mistake and you lose valuable places, or worse, fail to finish.

It’s Not All About the Racing

As I mentioned before, the racing is just one part of Motorsport Manager. The day to day running of your team is just as important if you want to succeed in the manufacturer/team league. You are responsible for improving your headquarters and the options available to you are vast, ranging from upgrades that benefit your drivers to financial improvements that benefit your bank account.

It’s not just your team headquarters that have numerous upgrade options. The sheer number of choices you can make in other areas of the game are just as great. Driver skills/abilities, car part upgrades, staff upgrades, not to mention the different paths you can take in establishing your supplier network. There’s so many different possibilities available to you that you can mould your team to your style of play which really makes it personal to you. That’s how I felt at least. For example, I know if my other half played this game, he would do things completely differently to how I would go about it.

You can improve the performance and reliability of your car components by developing them in-house or by buying parts in the marketplace.

A Prime Example

The sheer depth and detail that’s involved with this game could easily have been its downfall. Games that are overly complicated or have a steep learning curve are always hard to get stuck into unless you’re willing to invest the time. In this day and age when people’s gaming backlogs are continuously growing, I can imagine some gamers would quickly jump to something else.

The main dashboard looks great and is easy to navigate.

Thankfully Motorsport Manager has done a fantastic job of making the game accessible to newcomers with its easy tutorial system and well-designed screens/layouts. I found it extremely easy to navigate between the different screens as key information is clearly highlighted in the main dashboard for you to jump to. The game is very well designed and is one of the best management type games I’ve played. You don’t have to be a hardcore racing fanatic to appreciate this game. I wouldn’t call myself a racing fan, but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying Motorsport Manager and wanting to get my team promoted to the next racing tier. I can see myself easily clocking up the gameplay hours for some time to come.

Watch the official launch trailer below:

This game was provided by Indigo Pearl on behalf of Curve Digital for the purpose of this review.