The superior sequel to Edward Grabowski's classic and highly underrated Grand Prix Manager (published by MicroProse), Grand Prix Manager 2 is more of the same -- which can only be a good thing given how good the original was. Like its predecessor, GPM2 lets you manage an F1 team of your choice, giving you the entire 1996 Championship Season and dozens of Constructors' and Drivers' Championships teams to manage or compete against. Your goal, of course, is to make your team the best in the world of F1 racing. |
Edward Grabowski designed several strategy games while at Impressions, the developer known for reams of statistics -- and GPM2 is no exception. The game keeps track of hundreds of statistics and variables, all of which combine to convincingly simulate the workings of world-class F1 teams such as Benetton, McLaren, Williams, and -- of course -- Ferrari. As in real F1 racing, your success depends on many parties. It's not enough to put the best drivers behind the best cars: you must also find willing sponsors, train the most efficient crew, and manage the team's finances effectively. As in real life, the top F1 team can burn a few US$ million in a month. Therefore, financial savvy, negotiation skills, and management skills are just as important as technical know-how.
As an almost complete novice in this genre, I can't vouch for the realism of GPM2. But given the high regard the first game received from F1 gaming gurus and the usually high realism standard of Grabowski's past titles, I have no doubt this game is just as realistic as fans would want -- perhaps even more so, given the level of detail. Being a fan of business simulations, I found GPM2 a fun and addictive game. The financial management aspect is quite challenging, too -- especially since it's a long time between the date that you spend (mostly the sponsor's) money, and the date your team wins it back. With a plethora of options, decent graphics, and reams of statistics, GPM2 will certainly appeal not only to F1 fans, but also business sim gamers everywhere. Two thumbs up, way up!
Reviewed by: Underdogs