Following the release of OOTP16, which I reviewed earlier in the year, came the release of MLB Manager 2015 for mobile and tablet formats. The game is essentially what you might expect in that it is a stripped back version of the PC game in an easy mobile friendly format. As with OOTP, it is a fantastic baseball simulator which gives you a chance to test your baseball knowledge by managing a team from the ground up. A massive plus this year is the inclusion of official licencing, which in previous versions hasn’t felt like you were massively missing anything. But when it’s there you realize just how much better it is to have it.
This year’s mobile version features a much improved minor league system, even if it’s stripped back to the main prospects and doesn’t cover the deeper options than previous versions. Now you have the talent to demote struggling players and promote the hot young prospect who can give your team a boost. To go with this improved minor league set up is an improved trading function which makes what felt like a tough, outdated trade system fresh and fun. The inclusion of minor league players allows you to have more depth to your trades and decide on whether you are targeting the 2015 championship or the 2020 one.
As with all releases from this group, the day to day management of the team on the gameplay front is fantastic both before matches and in matches itself. The new interface in play allows you to better work your match ups either from the pitching or hitting side of the game to give you that more realistic feel. As always, with the playing side there is that superb balance between frustration and elation as games twist and turn just like they do in real life.
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The only criticism I really have of the game is that I have played it on three formats; iPhone, Samsung Galaxy Mini and iPad, and I found the game to be a little cramped on the mobile’s at times, but on the iPad it was perfect. This suggests that if you have a bigger screen phone then these cramped issues of the layout wont prove to be as much of an issue.
If you love OOTP then you may find this game isn’t as deep and that may hurt your fun but on the counter if you find OOTP too in depth then this game is perfect for you. MLB Manager 2015 does exactly what I want in a mobile game that I can play on the train, the bus or even in that park by being an in depth but simultaneously simple game that allows me to put myself in the place of a baseball GM and control any team I want. At $4.99 it is hard to turn your nose up at a game that does everything you need in baseball game short of you actually swinging the bat or throwing the pitch itself.