11:29 AM - November 30, 2010 by MMChrisS
Gold: Out of the Park Baseball
Out of the Park Baseball, and its various iterations, has become the benchmark for all text-sim games, regardless of sport. You can't discuss the genre without mentioning this classic series, known for a deep and customizable simulation experience. What I like most about OotP is the various ways you can play the game. You can start as a Single-A manager and build your way up to a MLB GM position or simply manage your favorite team. You can even simulate an actual season as it progresses in real life or create your own league with completely fictionalized teams. Plus, you can always join an online league if that's your thing. Most importantly, though, at the core, OotP is a solid baseball simulation that supports all of the customization and freedom the community wants. When looking at any text sim, most users probably want three things: ease of use, customization and options, and realism. Out of the Park delivers all three, and it has proven itself to be the gold standard of text-sim sports games.
Silver: Eastside Hockey Manager
Somehow, this game has slipped under the radar of most sports gaming fans. EHM 2007 is generally considered by many to be one of the better sports text-sims of all time, combining an incredible amount of depth with a realistic simulation engine. Developed by Sports Interactive, EHM uses a similar format and layout to Sports Mogul's most popular franchise, Football Manager. The ability to deeply scout your players and the ability to play in any league during any time period is among the game's best features. The fantasy draft AI is very challenging, and the game's AI understands that young, cheap players are the way to go. Hampered by piracy, Sports Mogul and Sega decided to discontinue the series because of low sales, even though the reviews were very positive. I hope that someday Sports Mogul will update this great franchise and give all hockey fans a game to call their own. There has not been a legitimate hockey text-sim since EHM.
Readers' Choice - Out of the Park Baseball
It's clear Americans love their Out of the Park Baseball (OOTP) as OS readers gave OOTP over 55 percent of the total votes for their favorite Text-Sim series. No other series in the voting even managed to get more than 5 percent of the vote, making this category a totally one sided affair.