A selection of open wheel racecars on a track.
Image credit: Paprikash Games

Microprose Open Wheel Manager 2 Hits Early Access

Open Wheel Manager 2 has just hit early access, and some of the team behind it are also responsible for a certain series called Grand Prix. Have they worked their magic here?

Manager-style racing games have seen somewhat of a revival since Frontier Developments brought back the F1 Manager name. But of course there are plenty of other managerial titles, like Motorsport Manager, Grand Prix Manager and the one we are talking about, Open Wheel Manager 2.

The first instalment released in 2019 to mostly positive reception. It was developed by a studio called Paprikash Games, but with expertise from MicroPose Software, who are responsible for the legendary Grand Prix games.

Open Wheel Manager 2: Gameplay

For fans of retro racing, OWM2 begins in the late 1990s. Unlike most manager games that have players micro-managing things on race day, there is a heavy focus on full-blown managerial duties you would expect when managing a real race team.

True to the tile Open Wheel Manager, your team can do more than just race in the equivalent of Formula One. As with most manager games, your tasks include seeking out sponsorship and managing drivers. They can be are rookies who need to gain experience, or veterans who have different challenges befalling them. Or anything in between.

A screenshot from Open Wheel Manager 2 seeing a race start and graphics of the driver positions on the side and two individual drivers at the bottom.
Help your two drivers get the best results possible for your team. Image credit: Paprikash Games

Plus, the player can watch the action in multiple ways. Whether that is a 3D view or a top down 2D view, or if you have picked up a manager racing game but just do not like watching racing, you can just skip it and go straight to the results page.

If you want to build a team from the ground up or take on a pre-existing team, you can! Yes, the graphics may not be out-of-this-world amazing, but what should matter is if the gameplay is enjoyable. That is of course up to you to decide, but can the influence of the team behind Grand Prix make an impression?

Grand Prix: A Retrospective

Whilst it was not the first F1 racing game, Geoff Crammond’s Grand Prix certainly was the catalyst towards a racing sim revolution. It was very much a leap forward graphically compared to many predecessors.

The first Grand Prix game was released in 1992, however it did not have the official F1 licence. Grand Prix II released a few years later in 1996, and got the licence to run the drivers and teams from 1994. Considering the time, graphically it top of its class.

It even featured detailed environments of the tracks whereas many of the games that came before it did not. Never mind the physics engine, which was ahead of its time.

The success of Grand Prix II laid the foundations for the leap in development of racing games over the years, resulting in what we have today. The developers even tried their hand at manager games with the aforementioned Grand Prix Manager.

If you want to learn more about the influence that Grand Prix II had on the racing games community, check out this retrospective on RaceDepartment.

Open Wheel Manager 2: How Much?

Open Wheel Manager 2 is currently in early access on Steam, and you can pick it up for just over £15, €17.55 and $17.99. The reviews are positive for the most part, although admittedly there are not that many yet.

If you do decide to give it a play, do let us know if it is any good!

Do you plan on playing Open Wheel Manager 2 ? Already played it? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!

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