When Kairosoft’s Game Dev Story came out and took the gaming community by storm, some of us thought it was just another one-hit wonder. Several new entries in the series later, we were happy to be proved wrong, which we only admitted after coming up for air after managing our malls. The latest in the series has a racing theme, and though it doesn’t rival its comrades, it’s still a good and unsurprisingly addictive game.
Grand Prix Story is an unexpected entry in Kairosoft’s “Story” series, because it involves racing, which is usually tense and adrenaline-pumping, and quite different from managing an academy or game development studio. The game does focus on the slower-paced management side of racing, but when your drivers race, watching them do so falls short of being suspenseful, even when you get to switch between your multiple drivers.
It’s another gorgeous day at the 16-bit track.
The strategy comes in, as usual, in the multiple layers of management. You have to train your drivers, hire and level up mechanics, and build vehicles with different parts, all of which can level up through research data and experience on the track. Your task is to put your trained drivers into your well researched, carefully crafted cars and win races from Snowville to the Formula Asia Grand Prix. Our only complaint with this is the slow starting pace; in our first playthrough, it took us about six game-years to win the first grand prix.
Besides trying to win for fame and glory, speedy racing can nab the attention of sponsors. These companies which, in true Kairosoft style, are named with cheeky variations on existing companies, reward you with cash and give bonuses of research, training, and even more cash. They have advertising needs, however, so meeting their standards adds another level of challenge.
Overall, Grand Prix Story is another worthy entry in Kairosoft’s enjoyable strategy management series, even though it doesn’t measure up to some of its companions. Racing fans who enjoy managing and don’t mind the lack of gripping excitement will especially enjoy this entry. Fortunately, we also found that the game can be fun for people whose closest experience with racing is Mario Kart, which is a sure sign of a good game.