Is Gladiator Guild Manager, Worth Playing?
Honest Video Game Reviews received a free copy of this title for review purposes, however our opinions are our own.
Gladiator Guild Manager has everything I am looking for in an indie game: it is a title that excels at what it does best and doesn’t try to be a cheaper version of a popular rival indie or AAA title.

The Lowdown.

Product Details
Genre: Management
Developer: Entertainment Forge
Publisher: GrabTheGames
Price: $14.99
Release Date: 22 June 2024
Supported Modes:

It’s not often that an indie game is as good as Gladiator Guild Manager, and a huge part of what makes it that way is that the developers are not pretending¬†to be anything but themselves; they are not offering a “cheaper version of Call of Duty” or yet another attempt to cash in on the survival or MMO genre despite lacking the skills and funding to do so.

Rather, they appear to have sat down and decided, “This is a game we can make well and afford to see through to completion”, something which far too few indie developers do before launching into Steam Early Access with often the best of intentions, before being forced to abandon their game due to a lack of funding or in some cases ability to address unforeseen issues that may arise.

A problem that is all too familiar to PC gamers, who have been left holding the bag while failed development teams disband, often without notice, leaving their game in a state of eternal limbo while they are forced to work on other projects and jobs to keep a roof over their head.

Don’t get me wrong; I have no issue with developers accepting their project is a failure and moving on; no one wants to fail, and real-life issues such as keeping a roof over their heads and keeping themselves and their loved ones fed must come first.

If I were ever in that situation, I would appreciate people showing kindness and understanding towards me, and Jesus said it best when he told his followers to “treat others how they would like to be treated”.

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. - Matthew 7:12

Impressive Visuals.

Gladiator Guild Manager does something that many games created by tiny development teams often fail to do, and that ensures visual and aesthetic consistency across the entire game, with every icon, sprite, background, and character image sharing a constant visual aesthetic.

What makes this all the more impressive is that the quality of the assets used is frankly top-notch, and I would in no way feel let down seeing them in any AAA or even AAAA (apparently, that is now a thing) title.

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Engaging Gameplay Loop.

Gladiator Guild Manager is the perfect example of a game that is easy to pick up and difficult to put down due to its simple yet expansive gameplay mechanics. These mechanics allow casual players to jump right into the action while offering enough depth and customizability for veteran gamers to get their fill.

As a long-time fan of MMORPGs, I love how I can customise the gear and abilities of every single gladiator before watching them grow ever more powerful as they compete in various arena battles and, more interestingly, progress through a series of faction quests that move the narrative along.

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While I would personally have liked a few ways to generate passive income, such as being able to build or invest in resource-producing buildings at my Guild HQ, overall, competing in various championships (and re-running older championships for XP and loot) kept my guild growing ever larger and more powerful, and allowed me to finish both the main narrative and my chosen factions quest chain in around 6.5 hours, which I feel is a great length playthrough for game of this type.

Too often, developers add so much padding to games like this that I am eager to set it aside when I finish the main story.

Fortunately, this is not the case with Gladiator Guild Manager, where I am considering a second playthrough and aiming for a different ending despite completing the game less than 24 hours ago.

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Completing quests, reaching new faction reputation levels and winning battles ensures a steady flow of loot and XP for your gladiators. While I felt that the materials required to unlock and level up abilities or reforge weapons were a little scarce, with roughly two championship wins being required to gain just 1 level of a single character’s tier 4 ability, overall, this annoyance is not enough to keep me from enjoying the game.

Despite Gladiator Guild Manager no longer being in early access, I would love developers to revisit this system and put a greater emphasis on gold rather than secondary currencies, which are difficult to come by in large enough quantities to ensure your entire team is kitted out in the upgraded weapons, items and abilities that best match your playstyle.

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Replayability and Value for Money.

Gladiator Guild Manager’s main story takes around 7 hours to complete; however, with three unique factions and multiple endings, it would be easy to spend 20-25 hours playing Gladiator Guild Manager without feeling bored.

This figure is based on a player only completing the main campaign. When you add in the additional modes and extensive level editor, you are looking at an easy 50 hours of content, which is pretty impressive considering that Gladiator Guild Manager retails for just $14.99 and has previously seen discounts of up to 85% on various storefronts and authorised third-party retailers such as DLGamer and Fanatical.

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 Tiny Development Team.

Gladiator Guild Manager is the work of just two full-time developers and two freelancers; frankly, that is remarkable. I have personally played many games by much larger and better-funded teams that have released products nowhere as good as Gladiator Guild Manager’s.

Entertainment Forge and its associates should be proud of what they and the Gladiator Guild Manager Steam Early Access community have accomplished.

Gladiator Guild Manager FAQ

Gladiator Guild Manager is a management video game developed by Entertainment Forge and published by GrabTheGames, it was released on 22 June 2024 and retails for $14.99.

Platform Availability.

Gladiator Guild Manager is available exclusively on PC.

What Peripherals Are Supported?

The following peripherals are officially supported:

  • PC - Mouse and Keyboard.

Is There Any Mature Content?

Gladiator Guild Manager is unrated and contains the following:

  • Gore
  • Violence

Final Verdict.

If I could use only one word to describe Gladiator Guild Manager, it would be phenomenal. It is not only one of the best indie games I have ever played, but it is one of the best games I have played this year, and 2024 has been an amazing year for great games.

I fully recommend Gladiator Guild Manager to fans of management simulations, as while there are a few aspects of Gladiator Guild Manager I would improve, they are ultimately minor issues and do not warrant a lower score than a perfect 10/10

Is Gladiator Guild Manager Worth Playing In 2024?

Honest Video Game Reviews has given "Gladiator Guild Manager" a rating of 10/10, indicating that it is genre-defining and essentially unmissable. While it may not be 100% perfect, it comes close, and the average gamer is likely to both enjoy and recommend it to others.

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