Franchise Hockey Manager 3 is a fantastically crafted title well worthy of praise. Unfortunately, with this release being a pretty basic retread, there is a prevailing sense of staleness. The game does have some minor improvements that are mostly visible with the streamlined startup process and visual data provided while in-game. Long time fans of the series may not need to update, but any new player looking to try a sports sim would be hard pressed to find a better place to start.
Suffice it to say, Franchise Hockey Manager is by no means an all-audiences game. You’ve got to be a certain sort of fan to enjoy any management sim, I think, and slogging through FHM3’s difficult interface is likely to turn away even those who would otherwise serve as its core audience.
A generally good text-simulation which has some drawbacks to keep it from true greatness, but well worth your time if you are a sim fan.
The lack of improvements in key areas are a worry but FHM3 is a solid if reserved update to the franchise.
Franchise Hockey Manager 3 isn't a game for everyone. If you're someone who's more into the on-ice action as opposed to the management – no pun intended – then this may not be what you want to play. That being said, those who are already fans of the franchise or want to know more about what a management sim is like need to look no further than Franchise Hockey Manager 3.
Management games are, of course, incredibly niche, but as SEGA's Football Manager series has proven, there's a lot of potential in there for these games to also be utterly life-consuming. Is Franchise Hockey Manager 3 up to that standard? No quite, but it's on the right path.
Ironically, a game built on ice needs a hot heart to survive.