The first rule of MMA Manager is you don't talk about MMA Manager.
But since this review allows me the sort of monologue that one might deliver through a megaphone, in a slightly nasal yet impassioned way, to a packed shopping mall of people doing their best to ignore you and avoid eye contact - I'm going to talk about it anyway.Pick a fight, any fight
MMA Manager puts you in charge of a gym of fighters and tasks you with running everything from recruitment, to combat strategy and business negotiations.
If you've played Motorsport Manager or New Star Soccer you'll know the drill. Out the blocks you're heaped with responsibilities, including upgrading your fighters and premises, buying equipment, managing your finances, and being ring-side during fights.
While you can't directly participate in the fights themselves, how they play out depends largely on the decisions you make.
Before your fighter is pitted against another you can instruct him in which tactics to use, which punches to throw, and how aggressive or defensive he should be.
As the fight plays out each blow will be relayed to you through a series of text prompts, with 2D portraits of the fighters getting black eyes according to how many blows they've received.
Gameplay wise, it's a system that works. Waiting for the next line of text to tell you whether your fighter has landed a kick or been bludgeoned is as intense as if you were watching the match in glorious 3D.Put 'em up
With almost 1000 procedurally generated fighters and 10 different fight leagues, MMA Manager builds a compelling world that means playthroughs will never pan out the same way twice.
The only sticking point is the visuals. Being so heavilly word-based, MMA Manager confronts you with walls of text that must be sifted through and carefully considered. While for the most part gameplay is fun, it often feels heavy handed.
Indeed, unless you're an MMA pro, this is a game that may confuse. There's a five minute tutorial at the beginning and help screens for more complicated concepts.
But in reality MMA Manager is designed for fans who are looking for an addictive strategy game to play out their perfect gym.
In this regard MMA Manager is a success. If you spend your days flexing your fists and practising your fighting footwork, this is the perfect game to liven up the bus stop.