Title: TV Station Manager
System(s): PC (also available for Macs)
Release Date: June 5, 2008
Publisher (Developer): Winter Wolves Games (Winter Wolves Games)
ESRB Rating: N/A
Pros: Everything is well organized, the controls are simple, you can create your own shows to air and it isn’t overwhelming.
Cons: Ad deals available are random and don’t always apply to your shows or stations and some additional program management options would have been nice.
Overall Score: One thumb up, one sideways; 88/100; B+; * * * 1/2 out of 5
Part of the joy of the various business management games out there is the ability to have complete control over a business or enterprise that you could never even imagine handling on your own in real life. TV Station Manager is one of those games that draws on that desire.
If you’ve ever imagined creating a TV station where you get to handle every aspect of the daily activities and shows that appear on it, TV Station Manager gives you that chance. And, if you go for the full version of the game, you can even create your own TV shows.
Save the station if you want to keep your job
As you can probably guess, TV Station Manager puts you in charge of a TV station. It isn’t a very good station though. But you’re there to change that. Once you step through the front doors, you’re tasked with turning the station’s bad luck around.
You’re given control of the evening programming, which means you have to schedule the TV programs that appear each day, make deals with advertisers, purchase shows, create new shows and manage station promotion. Let’s hope you’re up to the task!
Control everything about your station from 6pm to 12am
Everything works pretty well in TV Station Manager, and if you watch the tutorial and pay attention to the ad requirements, you shouldn’t have too much trouble playing. There’s a lot of content to understand and process, and Winter Wolves has done a good job of presenting it in a manner that doesn’t leave you too overwhelmed.
Personally, I’d have liked to have seen the organization go a step further. It would have been nice if, when placing a show on the programming grid, you could have clicked on it to set it to run at that time slot on multiple days. Yes, there is a copy feature at the top of the screen, which lets you copy that day’s programming to the following day, but it would have made it seem a bit more realistic if you could have organized and set up a schedule for weeks in advance.
There’s another area that could have used some improvement – the ad selection. Say, for example, that you choose to run a station that airs programming for kids and teenagers. You would think you’d mainly see ad deals for kids, teenagers and a general audience. Instead, you can see tons of ads for adults and older audiences that are of no use to you.
TV Station Manager also has a section that is easily the most entertaining part of the game, the Production Studio. If the shows available don’t appear to you, you can create your own. You choose actors, a genre, decide on a title, write a description and then create your own show for use in the game. I was surprised how much fun it was to create a show, and how much pride I felt when the show did well!
The life of a programming manager can be surprisingly simple.
TV Station Manager definitely appeals to simulation, time management and business management game fans. It offers a level of control that you don’t often see in management games and, if you put enough effort in, you can quickly find yourself running a hit TV station.
It also is executed in a manner that makes it easy for casual game fans to figure out what is going on and what they need to do to succeed. It may look overwhelming in screenshots, but programming becomes second nature once you start playing.
Site [TV Station Manager]