Review: Motorsport Manager Mobile 2
In 2014, Christian West launched an iOS mobile game called Motorsport Manager, which would later come to Android in 2015. It was a cheap and straightforward game and did extremely well for the simple reason that it filled a woefully underrepresented section of the gaming industry. While each new edition of Football Manager continues to sell millions of copies every year, there just wasn’t a good management simulation game for racing fans until Motorsport Manager.
The original mobile version did so well that Christian West formed Playsport Games and began to work on a PC version, which was released last year with far more features and depth. And now, three years after the launch of the first mobile game, Motorsport Manager Mobile 2 has finally come—and boy, is it good.
The core gameplay of Motorsport Manager Mobile 2 revolves around annual racing seasons. You start as the team principal of a formula racing team in the European Racing Series tasked to manage two cars and their drivers, a team of engineers, headquarters, and sponsors. The goal of the game is to win the championship, which will allow you to progress up to the Asia-Pacific Super Cup. If you win that, you can move on to the ultimate competition: the World Motorsport Championship, which mirrors Formula One in the real world. Each series has a different set of rules that make competing in them unique to the others.
Winning isn’t easy and requires careful resource management. You’ll want the best of everything but won’t be able to afford much when starting out. You’ll have to build your team up from the bottom, progressing one race weekend after another. The game advances—when you are ready—in periods of one week at a time. A race takes place every two weeks, during which you take control over the qualifying and race sessions in real time, telling your drivers what tires to equip, what setups to use, and how aggressively they should use their tires and fuel.
Everything about the game relates to compromise and making you toe the line between glory and utter disaster. You can slap the fastest parts on your car, but they’ll have a higher chance of breaking down during the race. You can pick only the sponsors that pay the most, but you might need to put in better results than you can manage to actually cash in. You can keep upgrading your car throughout the season to try to win the championship, but that will come at the cost of upgrading next season’s car. Investing in something always comes at the cost of something else.
This gameplay loop between overseeing the race weekends and managing what happens in between makes Motorsport Manager Mobile 2 very addictive, but also a great game to fill the gaps when you have just a few minutes to kill.
Those who have played Motorsport Manager on PC will be very familiar with the interface of Motorsport Manager Mobile 2, as the layout and skin is nearly identical. That’s a good thing, as the interface is extremely easy to read and navigate. I couldn’t think of a single thing I’d want to change. The game lets you create up to three save files, which you can upload to the cloud for easy access if you frequently switch between mobile devices.
Motorsport Manager Mobile 2, like all non-Codemasters games, is not officially licensed by the FIA, which means the racing drivers and teams it features are not modeled after the real world. However, this is perhaps to the game’s benefit, as it takes a light and comical, even charming, approach to the way it represents real motorsports and you’ll often be able to tell which teams are supposed to represent which (the red Scuderia Rossini, for instance, is clearly Ferrari). And when the season ends, your rewards paycheck is signed by none other than Ernie Hecklerock.
Overall, Motorsport Manager Mobile 2 is a slightly simplified version of the excellent PC game, which is perfect for mobile gaming. It provides you with a mix of macro-management on the season-long development side and micro-management when it comes to the race weekends. Just as in the real world, it rewards patience and careful management: you won’t get to the top of the motorsport ladder in just a handful of seasons, but each win along the way feels truly earned. If you enjoy watching motorsports, Motorsport Manager Mobile 2 is easily worth the $3.99.
Motorsport Manager Mobile 2 is available on iTunes and Google Play
Kurt Verlin was born in France and lives in the United States. Throughout his life he was always told French was the language of romance, but it was English he fell in love with. He likes cats, music, cars, 30 Rock, Formula 1, and pretending to be a race car driver in simulators; but most of all, he just likes to write about it all. See more articles by Kurt.