There’s quite a few tycoon style games, so I’m always surprised when they think of another one they can create and push out. Although in this instance, I’d say it’s surprising that this one didn’t already exist in some form – and that is taking control of an Esports team. Esports Life Tycoon gives you that ability by putting you in control of a team of teenagers to young adults, attempting to make waves in the crowded Esports arena.
Fight and Win
Functionally, Esports Life Tycoon is pretty solid. You have a team of five players, and you tell them to do certain actions which have an effect on the upcoming match. You can scout the opposition, train, boost your team chemistry, create some hype or just rest, and these things all impact the outcome of the match you’re about to play. It’s difficult to balance everything out so that you have every base covered, as you’ll need to train and to boost your team chemistry before every match, but you’ll also need to create some hype in order to garner some income to help pay your team’s wages. You can upgrade all of these areas so they perform quicker, as well as the digs in which you live, but obviously that all comes at a cost.
Raiser Games have taken a very similar approach to their other game, YouTubers Life, but in this instance I think they’ve made it work much better. They have taken inspiration from The Sims and blended it with their cutesy cartoony style to create a nice looking game with clear indicators of what your team are thinking and feeling. Obviously it’s not quite as deep as The Sims, but your team will let you know when they’re knackered, or when they’re feeling a little grumpy. In fact, when they’re grumpy comes some of the best parts of the game, because you can pie them off with a pizza party or tell them to just sit and cry it out if you’re not feeling the love for them.
Probably the worst thing about Esports Life Tycoon is the assumption that you know the MOBA style gameplay well, and that the only e-Sport out there is either DotA or League of Legends. I went into this fairly open minded, hoping I could form a team of my choosing, doing a game that I might have some expertise in, but got forced into doing a bunch of pants activities that I knew very little about and cared even less. Sadly, I didn’t feel at any point that the game tried to teach me anything about the genre either. Admittedly it’s pretty basic, but even so, when it comes to actually playing the games myself, even when I think I’m doing the right thing, I’m one hundred percent not and end up losing.
The other issue is that, after a while, the game does feel a bit samey. It’s the issue that most simulation and tycoon games will face, and they all have to overcome it somehow. Unfortunately, it doesn’t feel like Esports Life Tycoon does quite enough to fully clear the hurdle of boredom. I won’t say it’s horrendously bad, because the features are still decent and mechanically the game works well, it’s just after you graduate up the ranks a bit, it does get a little old. It probably didn’t help that I didn’t really know much about what stats were worth putting points into for my players, so inevitably I stopped caring about them, but a little teaching would go a long way in this game.
Realism sadly doesn’t play a large part in Esports Life Tycoon either, which can really impact gameplay if you’re not careful. While they’ve quite rightly decided to filter out all the boring admin side of the job, they also forgot to properly balance the money in the game, so that when you lose, you don’t go bankrupt. If you do face a defeat, and you haven’t put any effort into hyping up your upcoming fixture, then you will earn a big fat zero. Which, as far as I’m aware, isn’t quite what happens in the real world. Teams will certainly get a bonus for victory, but I sincerely doubt their backer will just bank-block them and say “you lost, you get nothing”. This is a professional team after all, not some parent’s side-hobby.
The Final Word
Despite the fact that I knew nothing – and still know nothing – about MOBAs, I actually still enjoyed Esports Life Tycoon. Not as much as I had hoped, certainly, but still a good amount. I definitely wouldn’t recommend it to non-DotA fans, but for fans of the genre, then it’s well worth it. The cartoony graphics are endearing and, while the sound also isn’t much to write home about, it’s not a bad game overall.