Ever since the classic Formula One management games of Grand Prix Manager and Grand Prix World, fans of the gaming genre have had their options limited, mainly due to the licensing of F1 content, but also being hampered by complicated ways to play.
Thankfully, Formula Legend (available on Android and IOS) addresses both these problems in fresh and fun ways. Skirting around the official names of teams and drivers – Viko Rosebum for Mercury is a personal favourite of a replacement – means we all know who we’re playing as, FOM must know who we’re all playing as, but the copyright lawyers are held at bay by their leashes.
And when you do play, it’s engaging in all the right ways, thanks to a focus on tactics and strategy, rather than on setting the team up, managing budgets and developing the overall speed of the car.
By jumping straight in and adding yourself to a team as engineer to of their drivers, it’s very easy to get into completing each race. Adjusting the aggression level of how you treat fuel and tyres gives you a speed advantage, but at the cost you in long run when it comes to conservation. Alternatively, you can play it nice and steady early on, ready to attack in the closing laps. Adapting to different strategies may give you an advantage, but it can be risky. Formula Legend lets you experience what sitting on the pitwall and dictating race strategy is all about.
One of the most enjoyable features are the mini games that pop up randomly throughout a race, ranging from reaction based – the faster you react the red lights the faster a start you’ll get – to driving the perfect racing line through chicanes or hairpins to gain a time advantage. These add a different level to other motorsport management sims on mobile platforms, and keeps it fun throughout.
As the season progresses you’ll be rewarded with prize money, which can be spent on upgrades you’d expect; aerodynamics, fuel efficiency, etc. You can improve your race engineering level too, so your upgrades last longer. This reflects the the real life aspect of F1 teams seeing advantage pegged back unless they continue to develop and spend more money.
The game is free to download, but for the price of roughly three songs on iTunes (£2.99) you not only get access to wet weather racing and an in-game name editor, but also a handy boost of funds to help you on your way up the greasy pole that is the Formula Legend grid.
In a way, the game manages to capture two demographics of fans; the casual F1 fan that would like something to make the commute to work a bit more bearable, and the die-hard that needs to scratch the itch between grand prix, but doesn’t own a next generation games console. Thats quite an achievement.