App Reviewed on: iPad Pro
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The Motorsport Manager games are far and away the management titles I've put the most time into on mobile. They are sharply designed and do a good job of teaching you about some of the nuances and excitement of racing that exist outside of sitting in the driver's seat. In playing Motorsport Manager 4, though, I found myself racking my brain trying to understand how this game is significantly different from Motorsport Manager Mobile 3, and I didn't come up with much.
In case you haven't played one of these games before (or can't figure it out from the title), Motorsport Manager 4 is not about actually driving race cars. Instead, you manage an entire racing team operation, which includes charting out race day strategy but also extends beyond the track to driver contract negotiations, research and development, sponsor management, and more.
Most of this is completely menu-driven outside of the actual races themselves, where you then get a view of your races in real time that you can pause at any point to issue commands like calling for pitstops, pushing tires to the limit, and even things like managing the Energy Recovery System (ERS) for each driver.
Motorsport Manager 4 is the slickest presentation of all of this managing action yet, but outside of its newfangled look, there's not a lot in this game that feels all that different from the last single-player entry in the series. There are some additional systems for sure, like an expanded race team staff to include strategists and some more store options to buying parts for your race car, but they feel like slight expansions to things that have already been in place as opposed to anything transformative.
I sort of get the rationale for being so incremental with a sequel. After all, Motorsport Manager Mobile 3 is a fantastic game and it strikes a great balance of feeling deep without ever getting too technical or overwhelming. That said, this is also what I said about the last game with regard to Motorsport Manager Mobile 2. This game feels like it does even less to progress the mechanics and systems at play here, and it would have been great to see some more dynamics added or just some more ambitious experimentation instead of another very safe and incremental release.
Where the rubber meets the road
So at this point you may be wondering if you should play Motorsport Manager 4. As someone who was playing the previous release on and off as recently as this calendar year, I can safely say that I am glad to have another game to dig into. Even with all of the similarities, the fresh visual presentation and having just a few more tools to play with is enough for me. The thing you have to keep in mind about this assessment though is that I love these games. I generally do not tire of them and find the upgrade path through racing leagues up to the big time meditative and fun, even if it does end up feeling like a bit of a grind.
If you've tried the other games and didn't quite feel that way about them, there's almost certainly nothing in Motorsport Manager 4 that is capable of changing your mind. If you've haven't tried any of these games before, then there's no reason not to jump in here, and--as I've said--I think they are among the best management games on mobile. On a final note, I do want to address the game's in-app purchases just to say that they are invisible to me. I don't know what they are, where I would go about purchasing them, and how they would help me do anything I haven't already been doing to play the game, so have no fear about this being a game that wants to just further monetize players.
The bottom line
Once again, Motorsport Manager 4 is an incremental step forward for an amazing series. It's still great, but the series is definitely starting to lose its shine.