Ah, the glamorous world of Grand Prix racing... hanging out in places like Monaco, Spain and Brazil, with people with names like Jean Alese and Michael Schumacher. Wearing patches representing millions in sponsorships. Or...sitting at your desk, in a T-shirt, eating a hot dog and clicking your mouse.
Grand Prix Manager gives you the opportunity to live the exciting life of the GP circuit in the comfort of your own home; but it doesn't take long to discover that it's not all racing, parties and fast living out there. This is a complete, detailed simulation of what it takes to get a car on the track every week, and make money doing it. Therefore, if you're looking for flat-out racing action, stop right here. If you like sims, though, and are interested in fine-tuning your rear spoiler, stealing technology from your competitors, and negotiating 15-year spare parts contracts, you will love this game.
All of this may sound a little confusing, but it's really not too bad. Advice windows are available throughout the game to help you make the tough (but actually random) decisions, and the format is very clear and straightforward. Sometimes you aren't told exactly why you should make the moves they recommend, but if you think carefully and move patiently you can quickly reach a minor level of success. In order to win a championship, though, nothing less than total immersion will suffice.
From a multimedia standpoint GPM is not going to blow anybody's socks off. The screens are clear and colorful, but almost uniformly static. The actual race screen lets you watch the cars circling the track, but only looking down from far above. Sound is confined to a repeated race car scream, with some background music thrown in. Sound and graphics are secondary, though; this game is about getting you hooked on the business of Grand Prix racing, and making sure you enjoy the ride.