This review was originally written in 2021. It is reproduced here with no edits.
- Detailed strategy and simulation options
- Great presentation
- Provides action game thrills with turn-based strategy controls
- Online season play and more connected features
- Amount of detail may be overwhelming at first for those who don’t follow motorsports
The Tiny Digital Factory’s GT Manager challenges you to become the best racing manager. You accomplish this objective by building a factory, developing your race cars, and effectively competing online. While it doesn’t pretend to be anything more than a simulation-based strategy game, GT Manager maintains a brisk pace, particularly during a race. It offers vicarious thrills comparable to some of the best action games out there, particularly when you have to make quick decisions that can mean the difference between the pole position or finishing in the middle of the pack.
There are various race objectives that need to be completed. It’s not always about placing first, either. For instance, one objective is simply to finish in front of a rival team.
Most of the game is menu-driven and intuitively controlled. During an actual race, you don’t control a driver directly, but instead manage their strategy. You can tell them to go faster or ease up, when to overtake another car, when to take a pit stop, and more.
Visually, this portrait-oriented game has quite a bit of detail. While it’s not photo-realistic enough to pass for a real race, it does have nice TV broadcast-style camera angles. Although the amount of information presented in the overhead racing view can be a bit overwhelming when first starting out, it eventually proves a great way to get a broader sense of how the race is unfolding and how you should evolve your strategy to put your team in the best position to win. You can also easily switch between “live” racing views and an overall track map with car indicators.
Audio is similarly detailed, with authentic race sounds, although not much else to set your ears alight. Still, for a simulation, the audio-visuals work well together and are arguably a step up from what you typically experience with other games in this genre.
After each race, you can unlock booster card packs that help you build out your factory, source improved car parts, add more drivers to your stable, gain sponsors, and more. An intuitive level progression system provides goals to strive for as you earn more money and credits.
Although you can race anonymously as a guest, if you sign up for an account, you can save your progress online, play on multiple devices, and gain extra in-game rewards. Of course, it wouldn’t be a mobile game without the ability to purchase things like season passes and starter packs with real world money. Fortunately, the free game offers plenty of content and no intrusive ads.
Overall, this is a great way to implement a simulation, although if you’re not already into motorsports, you’ll likely have to get past a bit of a learning curve with the team management and racing aspects. While building a factory and managing your team are fun in their own way, it’s the in-race strategy that’s arguably the most fun and rewarding. It will definitely take some time before you can really get a good sense of how hard you can push your cars during a race and how best to manage pit stops. Fortunately, it’s time you’ll want to invest.
Score: 5 (out of 5)