We’ve all dipped a toe in Farmville style social simulations at this point. And most of us have rightfully felt massive quantities of shame. The genre is completely overdone, yet we keep playing them because our feeble human brains can’t seem to escape all those skinner box design tactics. Well never fear. Double Fine has swooped in all heroically with a new game called Middle Manager of Justice. Now you can scratch that waste of time social sim itch and play a game with some real creativity, humor, and charm.
Looking at a team like The Avengers, it’s hard to imagine how much work must go into keeping things running smoothly. I mean, not every super team has super genius billionaire playboy philanthropist Tony Stark and his AI butler Jarvis to take care of things. That’s where you come in, as the manager to an all new team of supes. You’ll send your heroes out to fight thugs, and fight more thugs, and occasionally stop an out of control bus or fire before fighting more thugs, and eventually a super villain. You can delegate the missions to heroes and do other stuff while they fight, or you can join in the fight itself, which is actually faster a lot of the time, and greatly increases your chances of success.
Each hero will earn experience and level up. Whenever they level up, they’ll get points that can be used to train attack, health, or focus, which is like your ‘mana bar’ for super powers. Each hero knows three super powers, but can only take on into battle. Some heroes like the Masked Mummy, are tanky bruisers. Others, like Hothead, are ranged damage dealers. You also have heroes like @Man and Crimebot that are more interested in casting super abilities a lot. Spamming both of their lasers at anything is practically cheating it’s so effective. Just a pro-tip.
Back at your base, you’ll build rooms for rest, physical training, item research, ability training, relaxation, and money making. Most rooms can hold up to four stations (treadmills, beds, practice dummies, etc). Each room can be upgraded, as can the stations. You should be starting to see where all the grinding social sim stuff we’ve come to expect is. A big part of the game is happiness. Keeping your heroes happy and motivated makes them more likely to crit in fights. Keeping sections of the city happy makes them give you more donations.
In terms of items, we’ve got stat boosting equipment, consumable health replenishing type stuff, and meteorite fragments that can be combined into bigger and better fragments, which give your heroes special attributes. Like with most Free to Play games, there is a LOT to potentially spend money on in IAP, but none of it is pushed on you really. Nor is it necessary. I haven’t spent a dime, and I have a team that can wreck pretty much anything thrown at it. Aside from that, the game does still have a lot of grinding and waiting, but it’s pretty well paced considering, and has hilarious writing and character concepts to keep you entertained throughout. It definitely feels more like a quote unquote “real game,” and I can thoroughly recommend it if you play these kinds of games at all.