While it does offers a different perspective on the sport scene that you are the one playing as the manager not controlling the athlete. Released in 17th of May 2022, Tennis Manager 2022 is the new entry to the yearly release from the Tennis Manager franchise. Tennis Manager 2022 offers a complex management sim but rewarding gameplay in spite of the cluttered UI and its outdated graphics.
Tennis Manager 2022 offers a deep and complicated as expected of a management simulator. The game starts with you creating your manager with a barebone character creation. Then, you will be presented with two default starting point of your managerial career: starting a new academy with a custom player or start your career with a preset academy and players.
Right off the bat, you will be greeted with bombardment of interface, mechanics, diagrams, and charts. There is a help section to guide you through but, it feels lacking in detailed explanation for a newcomer. There are many positive aspects of its gameplay. Being able to micromanage your player stats, training, your tennis academy and so on. You can also customized the appearance of your players too, like the character creation, with a barebone wardrobe customization. However, each of these items offers some benefits in form of boosting or negating the stats of currently selected player.
Outside the office, you can also participate in coaching your athlete. Watching their matches, giving them pep talk or celebratory cheers. During matches, you can also switch strategies, playstyle and focus key points to counter your enemies tactics and target their weak points.
Graphic wise Tennis Manager 2022 doesn’t offer much in this department, both in court or when you manage you player and academy. It is functional for sure but its color scheme seems boring to look at. That is a big no-no when you spend most of the time playing this game staring at the multitude of menus and charts. The overall layout also confusing to navigate and this’ll probably also look unapproachable to newcomer to the franchise.
In court, the graphics from the crowd, the referee and and the players looks outdated. Well, the game expects you to skim the matches by fast-forwarding the match. Also for some reason, there are time when the ball definitely goes out of reach of your opponent racket, but they can still hit the ball back.
There is not a lot of sounds in this game. In-game music sounds boring and repetitive and what is worse is that there is only one in the entire game. Yet, the most glaring thing is that when you are holding a press conference, there is no atmospheric sound effects; like the sound of camera shutters or pitter patter of gossiping journalists. Even when you win a match, the celebratory sounds and cheers sounds celebratory. One way to enjoy this game is turn off the in-game music and just play a podcast, music or an audiobook in the background.
Performance wise, I encountered several crashes and the game sometimes freezes for a couple of second when I enter a match. These crashes and freezes occurs randomly throughout my playthrough so I cannot tell you exactly what is causing the crashes.
Lastly, what I notice the most is that the game feels unfinished and unpolished. Basically, that how it feels to play Tennis Manager 2022, barebone and limited. There’s nothing much else to do. Ranging from its gameplay aspects to sounds, contents inside the game felt like it was haphazardly put together. While the gameplay offers a complex and rewarding gameplay, there is nothing to brag about from it. Sure, if you can get past the underwhelming aspects of the game. I am a sucker for sim games but, I can’t say the same with Tennis Manager 2022. I cannot recommend this game in its current state. If you still want to play this, either wait for improvement to be made or just skip this entry entirely.