Idol Manager Reviews
Idol Manager is a comprehensive and in-depth business simulator that presents its financial data in a format that is both pleasant and digestible. Creating content is fun because of its melting pot approach. Making personalized content would be fantastic if it weren’t so important to follow what the game determines is “cool.” As fun as it is to engage with Idol Manager’s business mechanics, watching a woman’s value reduced to a trading card puts a damper on things.
What starts as a challenging and potentially exciting management sim, Idol Manager fails to keep your attention in the long term. Once you overcome those early financial hurdles and the money starts rolling in, the challenge ends, making for a stale simulated day-to-day experience.
If only the game played well. While my review of the PC version has been lost to the Internet ether, I did give it 4/5 and if it played well on the Switch here I would have scored it higher. I firmly believe that in concept and theme, Idol Manager is one of the best simulations I’ve ever played. If only it was not so infuriating to play with a controller. This game deserved far better.
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.
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 are looking for 3D sims with a cute anime cast, Idol manager is not your piece of cake. However, if you want to take things up a notch and want to play management sims, it is a solid entry point for beginners and veterans alike. Its in-game forecasts and audience give the game a sense of realism rarely seen in such genres.
Overall there is a lot to take in when you first start off Idol Manager, and this may scare off some new players, but if you give the game a chance it is a decent little sim. Idol manager has some good ideas but is a little too hard at times and may get a bit repetitive after a bit as you are staring at the same screen for hours. I enjoyed my time with Idol Manager, and while it’s not perfect in any way, it gets the job done. Give this a try if you’re into hardcore simulation and maybe you will feel the same as me.
Idol Manager is a riveting hidden gem buried underneath piss poor performance. The way mechanics actively attempt to sabotage each other is quite the head-scratcher, too.
Idol Manager is an enjoyable management simulator with a unique subject matter that hasn’t been seen in the genre before. The story has its moments, and any fan of idols will likely have a chuckle or make a grim nod at least once or twice. Additionally, it has some thoughtful difficulty and gameplay options in its free play mode that adds multiple ways for folks to enjoy a second or third playthrough. It does have some faults, most notably in its UI, but only so far as to be inconvenient. For fans of management sims and/or idol culture, Idol Manager is recommended.
While K-pop groups like Blackpink and BTS are credited with popularizing idols in the West, the concept of idols and idol culture originated in Japan and continues to thrive there. Idol Manager is all about creating the next big group to top the charts and sell out arenas while navigating the cutthroat Japanese idol scene. It’s a harsh but unrelenting look at all the behind-the-scenes work that it takes to make it to the world stage, and it’s an absolutely addicting (if not soul-crushing) experience.
There really is a lot to this game in the way of management and strategy, and you can tell the developers put a lot of time and effort into making sure you always have something to do. Idol Manager has the potential to become the game you ignore other new releases for, and if that doesn’t speak volumes about how good the game is, I don’t know what will.
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.
Glitch Pitch's Idol Manager is an engrossing industry angle on the Japanese idol scene, but stumbles a bit in the spotlight.