Grand Prix Story

Manage your own F1 team and guide it through the championship races to win a collection of trophies.

Gameplay: This is a stats driven game, very much like Game Dev Story (GDS).  You own a racing team, and you control the management aspects: the driver hiring; mechanics hiring; deciding the car to build and the modifications; where to race next; which sponsors to take on.  The key difference is that you get to watch the race when it’s happening.  That way you can get a feel for how the car is doing, and what upgrades you might want to get next.  There’s also this “Aura” effect, which is a bonus token which can be used to boost whatever the driver is doing.  For example it improves the stats during qualification; briefly boosts the car speed during the race; builds cars faster; conducts research faster etc.

The more races your car goes through, the more development points you gather, and the more experience points your car and components accrue.  So each race slowly improves your car, and you get to select the R&D to make the car even better.

The plus points: The game starts off easy, and gives anybody (pro or amateur) a chance to win – so it starts off with more encouragement at the beginning.  It has a bit of their usual pixel character feel which is quite cute.  There’s plenty of money for anybody that finds it hard to build on a budget.

Verdict: 2/5 Yes a shockingly low star rating.  I have to admit I’m quite surprised at myself for giving this low rating since I loved GDS.  But when I balance out all the parts, this just isn’t as great a game as GDS.  If you liked GDS, then you might want to try this for yourself to see if it’s good – definitely try the Lite version before buying the game.  But personally, I recommend you wait a month or two until they improve the game polish here (… that’s assuming Kairosoft will release updates).    Oh and make sure you have enough memory available because its 11MB large with no move to SD card option!

So what’s missing?  The first big thing is that it has no music or sound effects, which makes the game really soulless.  My next gripe is that it’s sometimes too easy win and yet it’s also difficult when you get stuck because the tech tree isn’t as clear as GDS.  I don’t like game bashing, but it’s like Kairosoft haven’t realised that part of the charm of GDS was the quirky similarities with real life – where are the cigarette company racing teams, and where is the pink cow driving team?  I’m sad to admit that I’ve fallen asleep multiple times trying to get into this game…

Grand Prix Story’s QR Code (Click on the image or scan it with your phone to goto Android Market)