Friday Fun: Hockey Management Edition

Unfortunately this week has been a bit of a blur and last weekend was no better. Easter meant a weekend of family events; work is ramping up rapidly for a big thing next week. This translates to, well, not a lot of fun in this week’s Friday Fun. I did, however, play one game this week that I wanted to talk about: Eastside Hockey Manager.

The absence of a hockey game on the PC has been a big gaping hole for awhile now. In fact, it is one of the main reasons I’ve maintained a foot in both the PC and console camps – I need to get my hockey fix. However, just a few weeks ago a new hockey title that is right up my alley hit Steam’s Early Access. While EHM does not have an official NHL license, the good folks over at EHM The Blue Line diligently recreated not just the NHL, but it seems most hockey leagues of note around the world.

Ironically, EHM came out on the very same day that I listed off all the things that EA’s NHL series needed to have in it next go around, with a special emphasis on GM stuff. Little did I know at the time that there was a game for me already and it was only 15 bucks! EHM is, as you might guess from the title, a game much in the same vein as Football Manager. It’s all about the GMing, with nitty gritty breakdowns of player contracts, performances, and so on. There is no 3-dimensional hockey game to be played in the title; instead, you can view a 2-dimensional representation of each game if you want. However, the vast majority of the game happens even away from that – in a bunch of screens that honestly look a lot like spreadsheets.

It’s not the best game in the world – it isn’t even the best hockey game in the world. However, it scratches an itch that became really apparent after I sat down and actually thought about all the stuff that NHL15 was missing. It has come along at just the right time for me (the NHL in the real world is getting set for the playoffs, which is typically when I experience a bout of NHL obsession) and I’ve already logged 20 hours in the game, in a week in which I’m not sure I actually had 20 hours to spare.

At any rate, that’s about it for this week, unfortunately. Next week is looking rather dire, but I’ll do my best to get some non-work-related gaming in! Until then~