Start Your Engines or Curb Your Enthusiasm? - Motorsport Mangager Waves the Free (to Play) Flag25 Mar 2016 2
You can now get Pocket Tactics' 2014 Runner-Up Best Sports Game, Motorsport Manager, for free (on iOS). None less than our Fearless Leader, Owen Faraday himself, described it as "quite possibly the best sports sim on mobile." My comprehension of automotive racing begins and ends at Ricky Bobby, but this game makes me care about Formula 1, and I'm not alone: Christian West's game really nailed it, topping the sports game charts internationally.
I had my party hart on and was just about to pull my last party popper (I've been saving it for a special occasion since 1999) when I noticed that, sometime in the past 21 months, Motorsport Madness got IAP. You can spend real money to boost your in-game cash now. In the end, I destroyed both my hat and popper while working through the five stages of grief, then I took a deep breath and took a second look at the game.
As far as I can tell, Motorsport Manager is the same game it ever was, with the same game balance. It looks like the IAP is just for players who want to win at all (real-money) costs. None of the uglier hallmarks of FTP are present: no timers, no second currency, and no sign of a paywall so far. Even if all is well, the addition of any pay-to-win element casts doubt on the game mechanics, as every tight spot starts to look like a paywall, and one suspects upgrade systems of being money pits. Confirmation bias can turn this suspicion into a self-fulfilling prophecy.
I'm pretty confident Motorsport Manager is still the game we loved in 2014, and that this sale is just your chance to pick up a classic for free (or a dollar on Android). Pretty confident, but I have doubts. I have such doubts. Playing Motorsport Manager? What do you think?