[Nintendo Switch] Idol Manager Review
Idol Manager from PLAYISM and Glitch Pitch is a business management sim in which you’ll set out to conquer the entertainment industry. Check out our Idol Manager review!
Idol Manager from PLAYISM and Glitch Pitch is a business management sim in which you’ll set out to conquer the entertainment industry. You’ll be taking on the role of a manager at a small – but growing! – talent agency in which you’ll be in charge of helping to train the new generation of young popstars. Not everyone is ready for what being a popstar entails, so you’ll have to evaluate their growth and performance to see who can carry on, who needs to be fired, and who will be taking their place.
The game had its start by way of a Kickstarter campaign back in 2018, with a low goal of only $5,000. Thanks to the support of more than 1700 backers, the project managed to end its run with more than ten times its initial goal. This allowed the game to become bigger and better. Idol Manager was then launched on Steam, and now it’s time for it to get the spotlight on Nintendo Switch, thanks to the console port’s stretch goal being reached and the support of PLAYISM as the game’s publisher.
To progress further and further in your Idol Manager career, you’ll need to provide idols with voice training lessons and dance lessons and figure out if the group you’re managing has a cool image, a cute image, or something entirely different. Popstars need to put out a hit single or two every now and then, so you’ll have to work on lyrics and musical arrangements and then work on the potential choreography for their presentations. Avoid PR nightmares, help them get through emotional meltdowns, and make your business grow at a steady pace. Oh, and there are also rival groups, gossip magazines, and super fans that are a bit too intense to worry about!
Once you’re ready to go, the first step in your Idol Manager journey will be to select your manager’s avatar, first and last name, as well as the idol group’s name. After this, you can decide if your rival is going to be a male or female manager and can choose to take on the tutorial or skip it. If this is your first time playing Idol Manager, then you should definitely enable the tutorial so that you can learn all of the basics. You’ll learn that you can have up to 15 floors, 50 idols, and 20 staff members working for you – limitations that are ignored during events.
For Idol Manager, you’ll move a cursor around the screen with the left analog stick as you confirm choices with the A button to prepare for what needs to be done each day. You can press in on the left analog stick to change its speed. There are many things for you to manage, so you’ll need to work on the performance of your group as well as on promoting them by using the D-Pad. There’s also the option of giving them a much-needed spa treatment so that they can get a chance to unwind and relax in order to give a better show the next time around.
You’ll need to build a variety of rooms in the building to be able to make it possible for the whole operation to run smoothly. You’ll first need to have your own office. Along with that, you can build other offices, a break room, a dance room, a recording room, a dressing room, and even a doctor’s office! The first floor of the building will be rent-free, which is the game’s way of trying to help you get the hang of things before the going gets tough. Not having to pay for rent on the first floor makes a huge difference!
Having a good variety of rooms in the building is a must since they open up a variety of activities for you, your idols, and your staff… but without any staff members, it will be hard to do everything on your own! Be sure to check the staff tab on the left side of the screen to check your current staff members and drag and drop them as needed into the rooms you’ve created. Idols from the idols tab must also be dragged and dropped to different rooms so that they can partake in a variety of activities. But before you can assign them, you’ll need to hire them! You’ll have to hold local, regional, or nationwide auditions.
Each audition will provide you with five different idols to consider. The idols you can hire will have four stats based on their appearance and four stats based on their talents. The values for each one will determine how they perform the tasks you assign to them. The four stats based on an idol’s appearance are cute, cool, sexy, and pretty. The four stats based on an idol’s talents are vocal, dance, funny, and smart. You’ll be able to look at the exact numbers for each value, as well as get a good idea of how good they are depending on the color of each stat. There’s also another number to keep in mind, which is the total potential value an idol can reach for said stat.
You’ll also have to consider the unique trait of each idol. Some traits are beneficial for your endeavor, while others can be a bit of a hindrance. One idol might have the Precocious trait, which makes it possible for her to get along better with older girls. Another one might have the Snitch trait, which makes her report scandals even if her relationship with you is not good enough. Or maybe, just maybe, you find an idol with the Clumsy trait, which gives her a penalty to dance but a bonus for comedy. And if you find a rare idol with extremely high starting stats… hire her right away!
Each activity that your idols take part in will require them to spend some of their stamina, and all work and no play will not be good for them. If you overwork an idol, this could lead to an injury, which will require them to rest and recover as needed. Sure, you need your idols to perform so that you can sign them to promotion contracts and get to work on more and more concerts, but you also need to take care of them. Just pay your employees, cover rent, and gain some extra cash to cover any unexpected events.
While promoting your idol group is a must – by way of interviews on magazines and TV or by participating in livestreams – you need to be very careful about how much work and stress you put your group members into. Human relationships are a very complicated matter, so hopefully, all of your group’s members are on the same page and aim to complete their goals. On top of this, you also need to crunch some numbers so that you can keep your business from being in the red.
There’s a LOT to experience in Idol Manager. Go into the Gallery section, and you’ll be able to review your stats. While there, you can see there are 341 dialogues in total, 8,744 dialogue lines, 71 events, and 24 special CGs to experience… as well as 9 different endings to work on! You can also use the CGs part of the Gallery to take another look at the aforementioned 24 CGs that you can unlock, as well as visit the Music segment to listen to the game’s songs once you’ve managed to get at least one good ending.
It’s been a long road, but Idol Manager has finally landed on Nintendo Switch. There are many activities for you to take on during your time as an up-and-coming entertainment manager, and odds are that your first couple of runs won’t end up well since there’s so much for you to learn about how things work in Idol Manager. On top of being able to play in the game’s Story Mode, you can also play in Free Style Mode, which removes the storyline so that you can focus purely on the idol management side of things, and you can mix things up by playing in the Relaxed (you can’t go bankrupt) or Unfair (which bumps up the challenge to 11) difficulties. Idol Manager is out today on Nintendo Switch with a $24.99 asking price.
This Idol Manager review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by PLAYISM.