Grand Prix Manager 2



graphic line

to view advertisers
Click on image to visit site

Following up on the success of Grand Prix 2 racing simulation and Grand Prix Manager is this latest release from Microprose, Grand Prix Manager 2. A direct descendant of last year's Grand Prix Manager, this updated release features a few new highlights and, of course, the prerequisite for any updated pro-sport game, a up-to-date list of athletes.

Move over Ferrari, here comes Team CSM!

Just like the first game in this series, your task is to take control of one of the Formula One racing teams and lead it to the championship. First time players will likely choose to play the game in Rookie mode and opt to manage a wealthy team like Williams, Benetton or Ferrari, while the seasoned pro will find more challenge in bringing more financially modest (i.e. on the verge of bankruptcy before you even start) teams like Simtek or Tsunami to the constructor's championship. Starting with anywhere between $1,000,000 and $10,000,000 (depending on which team you choose to manage), you will have to manage your money carefully to lead your team through the 16 races of the 1997 F1 season.

Before you even begin to entertain the notion of taking the car out for a spin on the track, you'd better make some deals with engine manufacturers, tire makers, spare component companies and, yes, security people. You'll notice right off the bat that not all teams are treated equally. Engine and tire manufacturers want to be associated with successful teams and therefore offer `special' deals to successful teams like Williams and Benetton. Those deals could be anything from discounted pricing to free engines. Struggling teams pay full price. The same logic applies to sponsorship. In order to defer some of the costs of running the team, you'll need to sell advertising space. Sponsors will pay big bucks for the privilege of slapping their logo on a successful team's car. They'll also sponsor less successful teams, but will pay less for the `privilege'. So, the more successful you are on the track, the more successful you'll be at the bank.

Now, there's more to this game than money management. You, as the team manager, are responsible for making sure your drivers, engineers and technicians are happy. You're responsible for tweaking the car's set-up so that your drivers can actually have a chance at winning a race. You're also responsible for telling the drivers to `step on it' or `take it easy' during the race. Basically, you're responsible for everything, except driving the car.

What's new in GP Manager 2?

Most important to anyone who has played the first version of this game are the new features. There are a few, but not all the ones we'd like to see. First and foremost is, of course, the obligatory update of the racing driver's names. Grand Prix Manager 2 uses the 1996 F1 season as its reference. However, Jacques Villeneuve fans will be sadly disappointed to learn he hasn't been included on the Williams team. Instead, we have a driver name John Newhouse. Sure, you can edit the driver's name, but you'll still be annoyed to hear the play-by-play announcer refer to him as "Newhouse".

Which brings us to the second big `improvement' over Grand Prix Manager; the in-game commentary by Stirling Moss. Now, while this was an interesting feature for the first ten minutes of game play, we found we enjoyed the game much more without it. It's not that Mr. Moss' voice is annoying, but the game just doesn't seem to manage the voice clips very well. In one instance, we listened to Moss rattle off the current driver's position, from first to last, only to have him start all over again because another lap was complete. That, plus the aforementioned `Newhouse' problem were enough for us to wish this feature were never added to the game. Thankfully, Microprose has provided the option to remove the commentary.

Anybody with a modem; and if you're reading this you must have one; will be happy to see that they can now challenge their friends to a manager's duel. This kind of feature always seems to add a little bit of zest to a game.

The Windows based graphics interface really hasn't changed all that much. In fact, when we first installed Grand Prix Manager 2, we thought we were still playing the first one. The game looks almost identical to its predecessor with a few minor cosmetic changes. One thing that we appreciated was that the slide-bars at the bottom of the screen that you use to control how much you want your driver to `push' the car are much bigger than before, making them much easier to use.

Other add-ons include a few new ways to view the race, one of them being the `helicopter' view, which literally zooms in on your car. We were not impressed. The resulting chunky graphics left much to be desired. We were impressed, however, with some of the real life `highlight' shots although they seemed to get repetitive after a little while.

Also included as a bonus for Windows 95 users is a screen saver. It's pretty standard stuff with some nice shots of your favorite F1 drivers.


As with the first installment, this is not a game for everyone. Real F1 racing fans will enjoy managing their favorite teams to the championship, but anyone looking for the thrill of driving an F1 car will be disappointed. This is a thinking fan's game. This game is for the guy (or gal) who loves racing, but knows they don't have skill to drive with the best. For the anyone looking for a taste of what it's like to run an F1 team and didn't play the first installment, Grand Prix Manager 2 is well worth picking up.

For anyone who's played the first installment, we're really not sure this game has improved enough to warrant buying it. Sure, there are some improvements, but there simply aren't enough of them. The game basically looks and feels the same as the first one. Our recommendation to you is to hold on and wait for the next version.

Back when Coming Soon Magazine reviewed the original Grand Prix Manager, we put out a wish list for Grand Prix racing games. We hoped at the time that Microprose would somehow combine the winning aspects of Grand Prix Manager and Grand Prix Racing into the then soon to be released Grand Prix Racing 2. That didn't happen. Obviously it's more lucrative to release two games to the marketplace rather than one and that's probably why Microprose released the games separately. The net effect is a great driving game (GP 2) and a good management simulation game. So, we put out the request again... Microprose, are you listening? Combine the two Grand Prix titles and give us the definitive racing game.

Written by Mike McGrath

Click here for screen shots.

System Requirements

486 DX22 66Mhz or higher processor,
Windows 3.1, 3.11 or 95,
MS-DOS 5.0 or higher,
Min 8 MB RAM,
Hard disk drive with 7 MB free space,
SVGA Video Graphic Card with 1 MB RAM (set in 256 colors),
Double speed CD-ROM drive or faster,
Microsoft Mouse or 100% compatible.

Any sound card that has Windows drivers.


Network play requires Windows 95.




In North America:

MicroProse USA
2490 Mariner Square Loop,
Alameda, CA 94501.

Technical Support:510-522-1164 Monday to Friday 9:00am - 5:00am PST
Fax Support:510-522-9357
BBS Support:510-522-8909 14,400 bauds

Web site: MicroProse
Email: MicroProse Technical Support

In Europe:

In UK:

MicroProse Europe
The Ridge, Chipping Sodbury,
South Glos, BS17 6BN.

Technical Support:+44-(0)1454-893900 Monday to Friday 9:00am - 5:30pm GMT
Fax Support:+44-(0)1454-894296
BBS:+44-(0)1454-327083/084 14,400 bauds

For UK Only:

For new release information and hints and tips on selected games, call the MicroProse Classified Line on 0891-555-111. This call is more expensive than a normal call and will terminate after six minutes at a maximum cost of 2.94 British pounds. Please seek the permission of whoever pays the bill before you call.

Email: MicroProse UK

In Germany:

MicroProse-Spectrum Holobyte GmbH
Bartholomausweg 31,
33334 Gutersloh.

Technical Support:+49-(0)5241-946480 Monday to Wednesday 2:00pm - 7:00pm GMT+1
Fax Support:+49-(0)5241-946494
BBS Support:+49-(0)5241-946484 28,800 bauds

Email: MicroProse Germany

In France:

Electronic Arts,
Centre d'Affaires Telebase,
3 rue Claude Chappe,
69771 St. Didier au Mont d'Or Cedex.

Technical Support:+33-(0)4-7253-2500

graphic line

[Main][Back issues][Feedback]

All content Copyright © 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997 Coming Soon Magazine, Inc. All Rights reserved.