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SummaryAddictive manager game with a lot of errors
The GoodThe management part of the game is really addictive. The potential for losing sleep and ruining your marriage is almost the same as in the football manager series.
The BadThe graphics of the game are quite ugly, the music is really annoying and the commentator is pretty simplistic. In short: Turn off the sound. It is possible to win almost every stage if you play it correctly. Especially on the lower difficulty settings. The first versions of the game was more bugged than a termite's nest and the riders database is neither up to date or correct for the year it's made. Fortunately the last two remarks can be corrected using custom databases and patches which can both be found on the internet.
The Bottom LineCycling manager is a game in which you take control of a cycling team and control it economically as well as tactically. You set the team for the races, hire new riders, doctors and scouts, buy better equipment, get new sponsors, and control the strategy on the stages.
The game has five different difficulty settings and on each of those settings you can further adjust the difficulty by setting more difficult goals for your team to achieve. So it is always possible to find a setting to match your ability. If you choose to actually control your team on the stage it is possible to achieve a lot better results than if you don't. In fact playing the stages makes the game a little too easy especially on the low difficulty settings.
The graphics and sound of the game are both very simplistic. The graphics are functional and generally shows what they must. The sounds are very expendable and I always end up turning at least the music and often also the commentator off.
The game is extremely addicting and you'll have to restrain yourself to not end up playing into the early hours. As the game is shipped it is too bugged to be actually playable but patched to the latest version (1.3R) the game plays generally nicely and furthermore no longer needs the CD to play. And if you apply a database update like e.g. PPDB 2005 it improves the enjoyment quite considerably. Since this game two sequels have been put out which both improve the game even further.