Sports management games are a legion, but few make a name for themselves. In fact, if Football Manager acts as a masterpiece of the genre, the rest of the games (basketball management, Formula 1, etc.) are struggling to prevail. This does not prevent the studios from wanting to make a hole, such as the French studio Rebound CG which, after a Tennis Manager 2021 that had good reviews, offers a second edition this year while Roland-Garros is in full swing.
Solid at his feet
The first contact with Tennis Manager 2022 it can be arid. With its informative interface, we quickly understand the title of Bounce CG aims to give us control over a multitude of parameters that affect both the field (with the management of the players and the game plans in the games) and the locker room (the morale of the players) or the evolution of the tennis academy and the one we manage (infrastructure, staff, budget, etc.). Rather than a player management game, it’s more a matter of running and running an academy as best you can with its contract-signed residents, often with one or two headliners contributing more money, and younger players. which we intend to develop. We have two options: take the lead in an established academy or create our own. We do not hide from you that in the first part it is highly recommended to recover an existing academy, because it allows you to put yourself in the hands of the different parameters that we have to make it progress and shine in the ATP circuits. WTA. But if the title fills us with information, we still get our notes out quickly, especially when we’ve already played a certain Football manager : with its interface modeled from the simulation of Interactive SportsTennis Manager 2022 quickly gives us the impression of moving through familiar terrain.
Therefore, there are additional elements beyond the interface. The management of the squad is relatively similar, with the same balance that is found between the technical skills of coaches and coaches as well as their skills in managing players, young people and, in general, their ability to motivate staff. This allows you to delegate certain tasks to the maximum, in particular the training and party management of some of our residents, except for the relentless who would like to control everything from A to Z. But this is not exactly the goal. . of the game, even if it allows, as the title offers a package of possibilities of delegation to our staff in order to be able to focus on the career of one or two players, whether a young man from the academy for pleasure of watching it evolve over the years, either from our star in order to maximize revenue and hope to take it to the top spot in the brilliant world at the Grand Slams. If you choose to manage the training, it is to choose the areas to work as well as their intensity, which affects both the morale of the player (according to his temperament and his desire to intensify training), its statistical development, but also and above all its physical form as the tournaments approach. Tournaments in which we register our players ourselves according to a rather gigantic calendar in which we get lost easily, with the possibility here also of delegating to our staff if necessary.
We get lost pretty quickly in the early hours, but the game has a fascinating side: we want to be in control of the whole academy and watch our players progress. Which the game does quite well by offering a smooth progression curve, allowing us to initially delegate much of the options, in order to regain control of it little by little as we learn what the game can offer us. We would have liked even more help, the game is quite sparse in explanations, especially about the workouts and game plans that need to be put in place, which encourages experimentation, but this makes the first season tedious. . As much as experimentation in matches quickly shows its results, going blind in training only shows its successes and failures very late. However, the title offers many help bubbles to activate, but these often do not have more accurate information, which ultimately pushes to let our staff act in our place in many areas until our academy is strong enough (financially, in particular) to gradually recover. control without too much risk. An academy that advances both by the results of the players, as well as by the contracts obtained with sponsors and the development of formative infrastructures, the investment in staff or even in the quality of life within the academy (relaxation, sport training-study , etc.). .). As for the progression of the young players, it was initially too simple and fast, but a patch released on May 20 rebalanced their progression.
Running like a football club
Tennis and football don’t have much in common, but it’s hard not to see a connection to Football Manager. Beyond its modeled interface, Tennis Manager uses similar components for match preparation: we set up game plans based on dots and arrows on a court, insisting on the attitude to adopt (playing short bottom, serving and wanting, to be aggressive, defensive, insisting on promotion …) trying to either impose our style, or counter the opponent on his weaknesses that our assistants give us. The similarity is seen in the game plan creation interface, which is much more like football than tennis, with a very tactical approach that does not necessarily take advantage of the player’s qualities. In fact, it is difficult for a tennis player to play against nature, his individual qualities take precedence over the rest, as there is no team unlike football. However, players are malleable at will in Tennis Manager, responding to the finger and eye of the sacrosanct game plan from which they do not deviate, making matches sometimes too simple: if our staff qualifies the rival as aggressive, do not hesitate. play the counterattack to get rid of it. While this may not necessarily take us to the top of the world with an average player, it still allows us to win most games and achieve some feats against better ranked players. In the end, everything seems to be a story of motivation rather than statistics or the qualities and faults of the players, in a game that lacks balance. It is true that the game works quite well and makes you want to stop, but Tennis Manager 2022 lacks a bit of personality and would certainly be interested, in the future, to find its own formula without focus too much on Football Manager. .
Visually, the game goes pretty well with a clear and practical interface once you enter the main important parameters, while the games represented in 3D do not work miracles. However, they are loyal enough that we can quickly see what is wrong or not in our opposition, however, they are sometimes very frustrating with players who lose simple, weak balls. This is a recurring problem, however, in this type of sports management game, where a balance must be found between visual representation and the need to offer matches with statistics (number of balls exchanged, aces, hits and failures …) faithful. to reality. This gives oppositions that are sometimes a bit artificial and let us not hide from you that apart from the first few hours, we quickly dropped the match observation in 3D to focus on the match statistics in order to decide the orders and the game plans commissioned from our stars. We also regret the lack of licenses, most players and tournaments have fantastic (but reality-inspired) names. Fortunately, all you have to do is take a quick trip to the Steam Workshop to find a mod that solves all the names.
If we ask ourselves about the personality of the game when it takes a lot of things from a Football Manager adapting it to tennis, we have to admit that the title has its qualities. Imperfect for overly simplistic tactics (usually just adapting to the opponent to win) and lacking in explanations as it throws us an impressive amount of parameters and information to keep in mind because, Tennis Manager 2022 is still a pleasant experience if you have ever dreamed of running a tennis academy. We apologize for the lack of licenses, but like any good sports management game that boasts, it only takes a few seconds to install a mod that solves this problem. Looking to the future, we still hope that the license can take off and bring new ideas without relying too much on Football Manager, because the world of tennis has specifics (especially in the approach of matches, which can not be summarized not just a game plan to follow to the letter) that this football club-style direction loses sight of.
Test performed by Hachim0n on PC (Steam) from a version provided by the publisher.