Developer: Glitch Pitch
Genres: Simulation, Strategy
Idol Manager really needs a console release - the scope and design of the game makes it perfect for the Nintendo Switch in particular - but in the meantime, I can see myself spending a lot of time playing this on the PC. I'm not the world's biggest fan of idols (at least, idols that aren't digital and with aquamarine twintail hair), but I do find the culture behind them fascinating to study. Idol Manager is a far more thoughtful take on all of this than I was expecting, and consequently, I've found the whole thing to be fascinating.
If you enjoy classic ’90s-style management gameplay, this should be high on your shopping list. And if you’re new to what can be a potentially daunting genre, Idol Manager is an accessible way to get involved; its good humour, slick presentation and enjoyable blend of scripted and emergent narrative all keep things constantly engaging and interesting. And as any veteran of the management sim’s golden age will tell you — that’s a sure-fire recipe for a game that will keep you up until the small hours.
There’s an analogy to be drawn here from comments made by the in-game characters about the appeal of idols. It’s not just about becoming a fan of someone who’s already talented and successful; it’s about following an idol as she develops her career. As someone who first played Idol Manager as a finished product, I don’t have that kind of emotional investment in the development process. But as in the game, hardcore and casual fans are attracted by different things, and that’s okay.
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