Ever thought you can manager a SBK team better than the real pro’s? Now’s your chance!
- Developer: Pixel Racers
- Publisher: Digital Tales
- Genre: Simulation management
- Release Date: 7th November 2018
- Platforms: Android and IOS
- Reviewed on: Android Samsung S8+
- Game Supplied by: Little Big PR
Mobile management games are widely available and now for the racing fans among us there is Superbike Team Manager (SBK Team Manager)
As a huge fan of these types of games and having spent hundreds of hours playing others like Motorsport manager both on mobile and PC I couldn’t wait to get my hands on some two wheeled action.
The game itself is very simple but as always with games like this to succeed you need to pay attention know when to push your team and when to hold back, something I learnt after creating my first team and in 8 races I was bankrupt with a angry owner who wouldn’t fund my team management anymore.
So I set about starting again and paid better attention to my initial setup, selected a bike manufacturer that suited the tracks I could benefit on, carefully negotiated better contracts for my rider and mechanic before heading out to the track with no upgrades on order or anything. Then chose better sponsors to suit my predicted finishing position to maximize the revenue for the team.
Initially this seems like quite an easy prospect but get the wrong rider for the bike and it can have catastrophic consequences for your team as the season develops leaving you to play catch up. Having 3 points of focus for your bike and rider: Corner entry, Corner exit and top speed keep the game simple but the balance as mentioned is all important between them in order to succeed. I found my balance in the second season as was finishing in better positions more often than not due to this.
The race weekend itself is also pretty straight forward, select 3 of the 4 areas in free practice to improve on and aim for a better time than other riders as a result. Depending on your result you are either in qualifying one or two. Don’t worry if you don’t make it into the top qualifying straight off, you can top (or second) the lower qualifying and it will propel you into the top qualifying where you lobby for a top 12 starting grid position.
The trick here is unlike free practice where it’s all stat based you have to select when to send your rider out in a 30 second window, based on the number of riders on track and also the focus of your rider, but these two sliders and moving all the time and your not guaranteed to get 100% focus from your rider as well as a empty track for them allowing a better time in qualifying so be quick on the trigger there.
Now down to the grunt of the game, race day. In SBk championships there are two races so don’t worry if it doesn’t go quite right in race 1 there is time to claw back some points in race two but obviously two race wins would be preferred.
The race itself starts off at normal speed before around half way round lap 1 you are given the option to increase it 3x or 8x but beware, changing weather may force a pitstop and riders aggression and track asphalt coarseness will deteriorate your tires before the end of the race, add to that aggression increases the likelihood of your rider crashing (which my first rider did more than he stayed on) and you’ve got a careful balance to achieve here to get the most points for your team and indeed to receive the highest sponsor payout, which will fund new parts and better riders and mechanics.
In addition to this the ever popular section of any race team, their hospitality section. Here you can increase your team revenues, increase rider and mechanic statistics per race and also gain rep boosts (these are used to unlock hospitality boosts)
But like the rest of the game use caution as they are not cheap and can bankrupt your team if riders prefer asphalt to their bike seat.
As you progress and add the hospitality along with upgrades, eventually a second team and better team crew you will hopefully move your way up the leaderboard and eventually become the SBK world champions and have one happy owner, as you can see I achieved it and it left me wanting to go back and master it even better which is where the first flaw of the game comes in. Once you’ve won the championship (which i did in season 3 (out of an allowed 4) that’s it. Game over!
Until now the basic yet well detailed bikes, screens ease of navigating all the options and menus kept me extremely occupied and just wanting more. The only drawback to the graphics were the upgrade parts once applied I forgot which were which and the bronze vs gold colour of the upgrades was not clear enough ( i binned the wrong part in the end, oops)
The tracks are colourful and being real world tracks and real world riders for such a small sized game have been executed very well and allow a great insight into SBK riding championships (if your not already familiar)
One of the things I enjoyed best was the sound, I had to think about how good or bad it was when writing the review and to be honest it ticks all the boxes, the music is there, garage sounds, bikes (although not AAA title realistic however this was not expected) for what the game is it delivers a top quality experience for a team manager game.
So Overall as you might have guessed I really enjoyed the game, it delivers a good level of insight into team management and it’s only major downfall is how short the game is. I’d love for it to be longer and perhaps have different difficulty options to give you suspension setups to configure yourself rather than hit a button and be guaranteed a better performance.
No doubt this game can be a great platform for next years installment and I was lucky enough to catch up with Emmanuel Floret, CEO / Creative director of Pixel racers to find out more about their drive to create the game and what’s next in their plans.