NBA General Manager 2016 – Another solid basketball manager game with improvements in all the right areas
Putting the “Net” in “Nothin but Net”
Basketball isn’t everyone’s hot cup of loose-leaf Darjeeling, but for those who love to sup from its highly popular cup, it doesn’t really get better than managing your own NBA team with the greatest players the sport has to offer. There are few opportunities to do this outside of the official NBA General Manager game, and 2016’s release promises to be at least as good as its predecessor, only with improved visual nuances and updated player rosters to keep true basketball fans happy. Should you be itching to use the phrase “Nothing But Net”, you can rest easy: NBA General Manager 2016 is the game to which you’ll be referencing when you next utilise that phrase.
A Summary of 2016’s Action
In many ways, NBA General Manager 2016 is very similar to its predecessors, which was the intent of the developers going into the creation process for this 2016 edition. Its gameplay still involves a hands-on approach to managing your NBA team, allowing you to sign the players you want from the teams that you desire (though the in-game currency certainly putts up a paywall to your progress, but more on this below). You’ll be able to flaunt your own managerial style, too, since the game has you in the position of not only manager but franchisee of your chosen team. This means you can choose everything from the formation of your team, their training, your bidding tactics on the Players Market.
Moreover, there are the familiar game modes available to play in this 2016 edition. You can choose to engage in full-on championships and the leagues week by week, but you can also enter head-to-head games too, with the ability to match up/face off against your friends or random matched-up players thanks to the multiplayer system. The multiplayer is, in fact, one of 2016’s main strengths since it allows you to compare your skills against a variety of other players. It’s particularly good for the competitive player, and means you don’t have to rely on repeated matches against the AI in order to get your basketball manager kicks!
Real Players, Real Stats
Though realism has always been a cornerstone of NBA General Manager’s appeal year after year, the emphasis on a realistic points-based system in this 2016 edition truly brings fans closer to reality than ever. The points system assigns values to each player in the game, with these values being based on the real-life strengths and weaknesses of each player. Essentially, if a player’s dribbling and attacking is good in real life, this is reflected in the game. Likewise, if a player’s shooting is weak in real life, this will also be reflected in the points system of the game. The result is an experience that brings 2016’s action closer to the reality of real-life NBA than ever before.
The realism comes in more obvious ways, too, such as the ability to choose from all of the official NBA teams of the 2016 season, as well as the selection of players from this season too. This means you can choose to manage teams from the New York Nicks and LA Lakers to Cleveland’s Cavaliers and the Chicago Bulls. Of course you cannot simply bid on and win a player and immediately thrust them into matches. The game’s realism extends to the training aspect of the game, too. This means improving your players’ skills by spending a lot of time developing aspects of their training, increasing everything from their speed and stamina to their shooting, passing, and dribbling skills.
Release Date: 02/03/2016
Available on: iOS, Android
Clean Design, With Lots of Polish
Even if the app’s content is stellar, a poor design could potentially let an app down. 2016’s design isn’t a massive leap forward in terms of changes from NBA General Manager 2015, but its interface is as solid as ever. Your teams are displayed as clearly as they ever have been, with screens showing you your current line-up, as well as being able to drill down on the stats of each player, which are displayed clearly on the player cards. The cards themselves are comprised of high-quality pictures of each player, too, and being officially licensed, you won’t have to deal with Pro Evolution Soccer-like issues where not all teams or players from the sport are available.
The pleasant aesthetics of the game even extend to the team logos when you’re in the process of choosing them. Each team has its own separate button that displays their name and detailed logo, with an appearance similar to a collecting-card game. This serves to make your team and player choices all the more exciting to make.
The Best (and Only) NBA Management Experience
There’s an aspect of the developers having cornered the market here, this cannot be denied. There simply isn’t another NBA Manager Game with the amount of polish that this one has, but more importantly, nor do any other basketball management games possess the official NBA licenses in order to display the kind of content seen in this app.
This is certainly the app to choose if you’re a management fan, but if you actually wish to step on to court and engage in matches, you’re still better off relying on console games like NBA 2K16, which allows for dynamic, on-court action rather than the kind of card-and-stat based management action of NBA General Manager 2016. Rating: 87/100
Read our article on NBA General Manager 2017 and what we'd like to see next year in the game.
NBA General Manager 2016 is developed by N B A General Manager.