How Not to Be a Pro Gamer
Pro Gamer Manager attempts to simulate the experience of, well, being a pro gamer. Watch streams, hone your skills, ascend the ranks, join a team, get a sponsor, and be the best gamer you can be. That's the idea, anyway: the game doesn't quite work out like that.
In Pro Game Manager, you’re given the option to play through two career: Gamer and Manager. You are locked into whatever you choose and can’t experience another path unless you start a whole new game.
Choosing either does nothing to change the storyline as it is rare, or the core gameplay mechanics, but it does affect the tasks you can undertake in game.
From there, you can choose from one of two games: MOBA and FPS. The former is called ‘Foba’ for whatever reason, though I’m pretty sure the genre isn’t copyrighted. Nomenclature aside, your game type won’t significantly change gameplay: in fact, none decisions you seem to really affect anything, I’ve found.
Upon starting as game, you are thrown into a room which, though nicely illustrated with simple but colorful components offer you no explanation as to how to proceed. Right-clicking brings up a menu with possible actions, but it’s a matter of trial and effort to figure out just how each will affect you or if you’re a manager, your team.
As a gamer, you have the option to…
- Play Ranked: You choose how you want to build your player for the match and wait for the timer to countdown to find out if you win or lose.
- Watch Stream: Raise knowledge by watching streams. I found that after a point (and without explanation) watching streams did nothing for me.
- Go to Bed: Rest until the next day. The energy bar is the more managerial thing you'll be doing that actually makes sense and has cause and effect.
- Research: Use EP to specialize your playstyle
- Profile: Allocate points to skills you want to strengthen. There's no telling what these skills actually do, so allocate at will.
- Gear: Use money to buy computer gear to play better and make more fans.
- Career: See your rank and how you stack up next to other players.
- House: Use money to buy a house once you’ve accumulated enough, which will allow you to have more team options.. When you start, you live with your parents.
- e-Sport Central: Attempt to raise your rank.
- Stream: Stream your gaming sessions to gain fans. This is not immediately available.
Managing a team is slightly more involved in terms of matches due to the fact that you can click between three play styles - defensive, balanced, and offensive - but much like everything else, there’s not enough feedback to be able to tell how much this is affecting your chances of winning. I won't list the options available simply because they don't seem to correlate.
That aside, there’s not much else to do in Pro Gamer Manager. Every action boils down to watching a timer tick down and that swiftly becomes tedious.
The act style is simple and clean and works well. It would have been nice if there had been more than static images.
The music consists of one looping track that swiftly becomes maddening when coupled with watching the timer circle fill.
Pro & Cons.
- +As someone who’s played MOBAs, it was mildly interesting to pick from the list of available champions and specialize in a position.
- +Somewhat accurate representation of the tug-of-war struggle climbing the ranks can be.
- -Inflexible class, career, and game selection. If you want to try anything other than what you first picked, you'll have to start an entirely different game.
- -No tool tips or explanations of how stats function: Numbers and actions don’t feel like they have any weight. Stats and decisions don't seem to make any difference in a RNG dominated universe.
- -Gameplay oversimplified to a series of timers.
- -No explanations. Ever. If you aren’t already familiar with the two game types available, you’ll be lost.
- -No reward for experimenting characters approaches. Once you find what works, do it over and over again. "What works" is often stumbled upon by accident and doesn't seem to correspond with stats or gameplay decisions.
- -Lack of immersion due to the issues listed above.
After switching hands and giving the reigns to 501 Industries, much of the desired and planned content for the game has yet to see the light of day. Also to note, a lot of key mechanics and functions have also been removed since this trade off.
It would take one small change to change this negative recommendation: if stats and decisions seemed to make a difference or even if battle outcomes were decided by a dice roll or rock-paper-scissors, this would feel more like a simulation game and less like a waiting game.