Management simulations have been a staple of the games industry for as long as I can remember. Fond memories of Grand Prix World from Microprose on PC using mods that brought it up to date captured motorsport management perfectly. Then came a drought for about 15 years where nothing substantial came about, until PlaySport Games released a small but hugely popular mobile management sim in the summer of 2014. A version for PC soon came as well as the sequel to the mobile game and now, we have the third instalment available for iOS and Android.
Anyone who has played the previous titles will feel immediately at home with MM3. Despite the music remaining the same from last year, it works, so no complaints there. The game pitches you into either a single-seater or GT series accompanied with a seamless tutorial that teaches you the basics whilst enjoying your first race and skills required to manage your team through your career.
Customisation is key with every aspect given to you to create your own team identity. There is even a content editor pack that allows you to edit the names of your competitors, so you can race against Ferrari and Seb Vettel instead of Scuderia Rossini and Dieter Wexler. The is available to you as paid DLC.
The key feature of Motorsport Manager 3 (MM3) silences the critics of previous versions where it was based solely on single-seater race series. MM3 brings together 3 different types of motorsport: single-seater, GT and endurance set across 4 tiers to progress through all with very different sets of rules within each series. This variety naturally extends your future planning within the game. If you want to fast-track your way through the tiers you can do that and at the end of each season you can decide to go through into the next tier up or switch to a different racing pedigree. Alternatively if you want to win within each racing series, expect to put in 2 or 3 seasons into each category to ensure you can develop a car that turns into a championship winner.
The Research and Development section of the game has been given an overhaul with a vastly greater array of options on where you can develop your factory facilities. Having played through four seasons of the game at the time of writing this review there is still a lot of my factory that I need to work on, which in turn provides greater options on where and how you develop parts on your car. That said, you still only get to develop 6 parts of your car – it would be great to see this aspect built out a little further with perhaps a secret technology that can give you an edge, or depending on whether you are a works team or customer team how that dynamic would impact your team setup and development opportunity.
MM3 also adds a distribution and logistics network functionality into the game which gives you discounts on a variety of costs – develop relationships with overseas vendors to reap the long-term benefits and rewards. This is crucial to keep your business afloat in the upper echelons of the game where costs are exponentially higher.
As anyone with any knowledge of F1 will know, you need a lot of influence and power to be successful in the sport. MM3 recognises this through their addition of influence tokens. At times of negotiation for drivers, personnel, sponsorship and logistics deals, you can “spend” influence in order to get a decision to swing your way. Linked to this are the rules of motorsport, which change in real life constantly. Now you can influence whether certain rules are changed at the beginning of a season that will impact the entire season ahead – a great feature from the PC version that has been added to mobile.
Where this game really excelled in the past was the actual racing aspect. MM3 enhances this further with a couple of new features that really makes it more enjoyable. I was never much a fan of qualifying in MM2 whereby you had to tweak the settings of your car to find the best setup – it was always a bit of a chore and didn’t necessarily feel that it made much of an impact anyway. This has been done away with entirely in MM3.
Now you have a number of tokens to use and you can tell your engineer where to spend those tokens. There is a risk though as if you overspend, your setup is ruined for a qualifying run. It plays much better as a mini-game within the game and you have the choice to stop tweaking or risk it for a better setup. The race mode itself though is excellent, especially for the new racing categories such as endurance. Whereas in the past the racing was more of a sprint that lasted 20 or so laps with a pitstop or two, endurance racing takes place over an in-game 45 minutes with two 3-driver teams who have different rates of tiring out themselves in addition to the normal fuel/tyre strategies and damage management. There is certainly a greater sense of achievement in bringing a 1-2 home after overseeing all of that!
One thing PlaySport continually gets right is the witty sense of humour throughout the game. Remember that recant drama at McLaren where employees were rewarded with a chocolate bar…well that exact “dilemma” comes up within the game. Or, being approached by a pharmaceutical company to have one of your driver’s dress up as a hemorrhoid for the pleasure of receiving $3m sponsorship…all in the life of a motorsport manager. Wonderful.
This is a feature packed title and one of the curious features of the game is that you can activate an augmented reality (AR) mode when racing. It is incredibly impressive and with the actual Monaco GP circuit included in this game, never has Monte Carlo looked so inviting, allowing you to roam around the principality with such joy. That all said, MM3 is to be played on the move, so you’ll likely only use AR mode sparingly – the normal view still offers a very detailed lush environment.
MM3 is an excellent title and for £3.99 you would struggle to find a better management game at any price on mobile. Once I completed MM2 I didn’t find any reason to keep it on my phone. With MM3 however, whilst the principles of the management of a race team remain the same regardless of racing series, each has its own feel about it that definitely offers the longevity it needed to sit happily on your phone permanently. This is turning into a great franchise and future iterations will surely only further enhance our experience of managing a motorsport team.
- Content rich
- No micro-transactions
- Augmented Reality mode
- Can be repetitive
- Career mode can be simplistic
- No official licence
Motorsport management games have been given a new lease of life from PlaySport Games and their third title on mobile is an excellent replication of three distinct motorsport varieties. There is enough in this £3.99 title to keep you entertained for many hours, striving to become the most successful motorsport team in the world.