Pole Position is a management game from Kalypso Media where the aim is for the player to successfully run a Formula 1 racing team. You design the car, hire the drivers and engineers and get prepared for a new racing season. Unfortunately, it’s a lot less interesting then it sounds. As a fan of management and strategy games I was looking forward to seeing what this was like.
The interface is basically a screen with lots of tabs, there’s a tab to set up your car, hire personnel, check finances etc. There isn’t much guidance given on where to go and what to do next. When you a click on a tab for the first time there’s a brief tutorial paragraph displayed but even still, I found myself wondering if my car was actually complete and where I should go next. The most logical progression the first time you play is to just systematically go through the tabs from left to right. I still however ended up trying to take out my first car for a test drive without all the necessary components and couldn’t find what I was missing for ages.
When building my car, I was buying components and had no idea how much money I had, it’s hidden in a different tab which is quite a bit further down the natural progression of left to right so when I did find it I was spending far too much money and making a loss.
One of the problems with the game is that it’s just so static and feels lifeless, everything is just text on a screen with music which doesn’t add any excitement. The building of your cars is quite technical, as someone who doesn’t know anything about building cars I didn’t know what the difference between an RCD brake system or a Black brake system was. Every component has some aerodynamics or weight rating so that’s your guide as to what component is the best to buy but it seems very uninteresting in the way it’s presented.
However the technical side of the game shows that it was made by people who know how to build a car. There is a wind tunnel section where you can test your newly built car by seeing it’s top speed, areodynamics and handling rating, stuff like that so for a car enthusiast it could be interesting to see how you can change around your car to get the best possible combination, for the people who don’t know the ins and outs of formula one racing, it’s a screen with an animation of a car driving and some statistics which you just glance at and then leave hoping to find the part of the game where it bocomes interesting.
It does seem like lots of technical issues are taken into account with building your car which is good if that’s what you’re after but I don’t think there’s enough people who are that interested in cars to find the game fun and interesting despite the lacklustre feel of the game and interface.
Once you’ve had a few months of preparing you finally get to start the race season! The racing scenes could be done better. Basically your overlooking the track with icons moving swiftly around to show the positions of the cars in superspeed obviously so you don’t have to sit through every lap and it occasionally cuts to an actual scene of animation where you see the car driving around from the driver’s perception. It can be a bit boring to sit through the race as nothing very interesting happens, there’s no commentary of what’s going on.
The good side is that if you’re into mechanics, it seems to be quite accurate and in depth. The bad side is that the game feels lifeless and has a bad interface, I could have done with knowing how much money I had before hiring my team and buying car components but your balance is hidden away in the last tab and if you’re new to the game then the most obvious thing to do is to go through the tabs from left to right. There’s so many it gets laborous and could definitely be laid out better with fewer tabs and a few key details always displayed on screen. Unfortunately, the game fails to thrill, there’s lots of technical bits and pieces to keep car buffs happy but if you’re not interested in mechanics you’ll probably get bored playing this game.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.