It takes a brave developer to step into the mind-bogglingly complex world of sports management.
In the case of Blackout Rugby, the latest title from New Zealand studio Blackout Games, it looks like the gamble might just have paid off.
Described by the team as, “the most in-depth rugby team management sim ever made”, Blackout Rugby is a sports MMO that manages to be both staggeringly detailed and pleasingly presentable.
That’s largely thanks to the cutting edge match engine, which lets you stand on the sidelines and watch games in full 3D. Your players all have their own unique avatars, too, so you don’t need to rely on dry old numbers and symbols to follow the action.
You’re not just watching, of course. Blackout Rugby lets you make tactical changes – tweaking everything from ruck commitment to lineout target in order to ensure that you get the better of your opponent on the day.
Off the pitch, meanwhile, you’ll find yourself wading through an avalanche of managerial tasks.
There are injured players to juggle, sponsors to find and keep happy, facilities to renovate, contracts to negotiate, opponents to study, and much more.
It’s hard to overstate the sheer level of control Blackout Rugby gives you over your team’s destiny, from the youth academy working on the next generation of players to the training sessions keeping the current crop at the top of their form.
There are more than 20 different training session types to undertake, targeting particular skills and attributes.
And when you’re not working on the rugby you’re working on everything else, from maintaining your club’s broadcast studio facilities to commissioning statues of your best ex-players to keep the fans happy.
Best of all, you don’t have to do any of it alone. Blackout Rugby lets you create and join clans with your friends through a clever Union system. Rugby is a team sport after all.
You can download Blackout Rugby right now on Android, iOS, and PC.