Adventurer Manager is a neat concept, but poor execution killed most of my joy. When you name a game "Adventurer Manager," my first thought is that my job would be to outfit the adventurers and let them go on their way.
I didn't do my due diligence before buying this game exactly for that reason.
Instead, most of your time in Adventurer Manager is spent locked in slow turn-based battles or an equipment management system that takes just a little too much effort.
I'd rather be handling diplomacy, town economics, or really anything other than having to do yet another dungeon crawl.
No one likes a micromanager, but Adventurer Manager forces you to be one.
Update following the developer's response:
I appreciate your response. First, I'd like to say that this review is a gut reaction. It's not a mechanical critique of the game.
I admitted that I didn't research the game to drive home the fact that my experience is based entirely around impulse buying your game. I'd read an article on either Rock Paper Shotgun or PC Gamer about Adventurer Manager, saw that it was on Steam, and picked it up without a second thought.
Many reviews come from members of a game's community that either love or hate it. I'm a guy who bought it, played it for a couple of hours, and didn't end up liking it very much.
I'm definitely not accusing you of false advertising. You explain exactly what the game is and what to expect on the store page. Most of my issues with the game stem from core mechanical problems that can't be expressed through screenshots or gameplay trailers. I'd have had to watch someone play the game to see the stuff that left a sour taste in my mouth.
Having bought the game, though, I've also bought my right to share my opinion about it. Steam only lets me give a game a thumbs up or a thumbs down, but in many cases I'd probably pick a middling option.
I decide by imagining if a friend — someone I know who likes this type of game — asked me what I thought. If I could imagine myself saying "You might like it" at some point, then it's a thumbs up. If I can't imagine myself suggesting it to anyone who I know, then I rate it negatively.
Here are some after-the-fact critiques:
I didn't feel like I was progressing very quickly. Most of why I play these lightweight, casual-ish games is to get the distilled seratonin that can only come with upgrading my dudes.
Tying class unlocks to reputation didn't feel fun. I'd rather just tell my rogue that he's going to be an assassin now.
I did some thinking during my commute this morning about what I actually meant by "slow" turn-based combat.
The auto-adventuring feature is a neat idea, but it's functionally identical to the vast majority of the dungeon crawling gameplay. I think my issue is that I'm only exerting agency over 4 of my 48 adventurers at any given moment.
Let's say that the game took a cue for FFVII's "active" turn-based battle system. The adventurers would handle the fights on their own, but the player's job would be to check in on them and reveal enemy weaknesses, give stat-boosting pep talks, and pull them out if the going gets too tough. The time-based turns combat would then give the player breathing room to swap between adventuring parties on the fly.
These automated parties could adventure simultaneously, and the total number of adventurers you could have in the world at one time would naturally be limited by your ability to multitask between however many parties were adventuring at any given moment.