Hockey Manager Review: Puck it up!



Hockey Manager Review: Puck it up!
By Vincent Haoson (Vincenthaoson), OnRPG Journalist

In Hockey Manager, you get to acquire your own Hockey Team. As your team's manager, you have the control on almost every aspect of your Hockey club. Every little detail is given to you, from managing the arena where you team is based to being the one responsible in earning money for your team's operation expenses. There is no detailthat you cannot touch, well except maybe on your players' personal lives that is.

You are the Manager

Being a Hockey Club manager is not just about being able to make sure your team has enough hot water in their showers, it's all about earning money. The game does in fact stress this point as almost everything outside the matches is about finances. You are the manager therefore you handle how everything is run administratively just as the game explicitly shows. As usual in manager-like games you are given a starting sum of money for you to work on.The gameplay is not exactly revolutionary as most games in this genre basically have the same set of goals and game styles. The only different thing about Hockey Manager is that you have a hockey team to manage and control.

Hockey Manager Lineup

Hockey Manager Team Lineup

Game Details

The level of detail the game has is really outstanding. I'm not privy to the inner workings of a team manager but you control everything even the arena where your team is based in. You are the one who calls the shots when it comes to expansion of the ticketing booths, the ice rink even the snacks that you sell on the arena. Aside from the income you earn from the arena you also handle the team's stock market and even the team's merchandising.

The Team Details

This is kind of a gray area for me because I personally think that managers should never really mess with how a team is coached. Managers basically just handle the contracts, salaries and even the trades of players not how the team is being coached.Hockey Manager gives you the reigns on the team as matches are done in real time. This is one of the things that I think goes outside the boundaries of being a team manager but is also included as the game's system and idea of being a manager.

Training Hockey Players

Hockey Players Training Schedule

In the usual concept of managers, a manager does not coach a team because it is outside their responsibilities, but the game gives you the power to decide which training players should be concentrating on and even on the strategies that they should be using. This of course is the coach's responsibility but apparently you are also the team's coach.

Gameplay

It is expected that in a manager-centric game you don't get to micro manage the players you have as in most sports games. Hockey Manager is no different. However, with the line between a coach and manager blurred by the game system, you get to be the team's coach in matches themselves.

Enrolling in a Tournament

Enroll in Worldwide Trainingcamp Tournament

The matches are done in real time and in flash format. As the team's coach you also have the capacity to shift and change your team's strategy as the game is on-going. This may prove to be a little taxing especially if you are more of a person that prefers to let his players play and your team's coach coach.

Matches

Supposedly everything in Hockey Manager reflects how Hockey in real life is. Therefore the game also incorporates the two kinds of matches in professional hockey which are the world cup and the exhibition matches.The matches in Hockey Manager are the thing players should be looking forward to, as of course this is the place where all the preparation for your team eventually shows. You are provided a big chunk of a Hockey rink in your interface and your players are represented by circles with their number and team color.Matches against other players are done in real time therefore it would seem that the game is like a running hockey match. This gives the game more pull and reason for players to stay on and play.

Hockey Arena

Ice Hockey Arena

Conclusion

If you are a hockey fan and you want to taste how it feels to be managers for a hockey club then by all means try the game.If you are the type of player that wants to micro manage almost every aspect of the team that is entrusted to you then the game is a good choice for you. The details are unbelievable and it really puts you in the seat of the team's manager. I am still dubious that Hockey Managers actually get to call the shots even on the team's arena, those little things make the game such a fun game to play.The idea of coach-manager lines being blurred in Hockey Manager can be confusing especially if you are expecting the game to be just being a "Hockey Club Manager". Though this is a nice feature because you get to actually control how your team runs in matches.

All in all Hockey Manager is a game that has everything and anything you can be looking for in a game like this. Everything is also based on professional hockey though do not expect to have a fantasy draft that can be exactly like the Hockey team your rooting for in the professional scene.The game is good in itself and is a nice way to channel your Hockey addiction on. I say if you love the sport and want to know and taste how Hockey Club managers feel then the game is for you.

Pros:
- The game provides an in-depth experience on what happens behind a hockey club manager.
- You can also act as the team's coach aside from being their manager.
- The matches are done live so you go against other people.

Cons:
- The game is about being a hockey manager that means you being a coach should not be part of the gameplay.
- Matches happen in real time that would mean you would have to adjust to your opponent's time if you want to play.
- The line in-between a coach and a manager is blurred because you are also the team's coach.

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