PC Games Reviews
Casual Friday: Intel IT Manager 2.0
By Babak Setayesh Feb 16, 2007, 18:56 GMT
Divert yourself from the hassles of real work by doing some fake work instead.
Ahh... Friday, the last hurdle to a weekend of freedom and heavy drinking. What better way to celebrate this wonderful day than to plunge ourselves into the wonderful world of... being an IT manager. These types of games pop up from time to time, and I believe the buzzword is 'advergaming'. If any game could capture the absolute frustration that comes with working in a typical IT department, it’s Intel IT Manager 2.0. Luckily with the right equipment and the right technologies (provided by Intel of course), it becomes a snap.
Intel IT Manager has a slight learning curve, but if you read the instructions, you’ll eventually get the hang of it. The first thing you’ll want to do is find the IT manager you’ve created and acquire the leadership skill, allowing you to hire new underlings to do the dirty work for you. This turns out to be important because if you handle too many problems by yourself, your stress level goes up and your effectiveness (the time it takes you to solve problems) goes down. Further, ignoring urgent problems (identified by pulsating red equipment) will reduce your employees’ productivity and eventually lead them to quit their worthless, dead-end jobs by spontaneously combusting (nice touch). To fix problems, drag one of your IT gurus onto the area where the problem is occurring. Beware though, overworking your underlings will raise their stress level, leading them to call in sick. Send them on holiday instead, and they will come back refreshed and ready to work. You may also train your underlings to solve more complex problems like fixing servers, which becomes important at later stages of the game. This aspect of the game is enjoyable enough to pique my interest for at least a few hours.
From time to time, an alert will pop-up, leading to one of four IT themed mini-games that challenge you to do things like build servers or protect the company’s valuable data from hackers. These games are fun the first few times through and can be somewhat difficult, and if you should fail in the task at hand, there will be consequences in the main game. Perhaps the most entertaining mini-game is Alien Invasion, a mindless Asteroids-like arcade shooter. The other ones are either too monotonous or require too much thinking. I found these little diversions to be repetitive after a while and not worth my time, so I just ended up bypassing them and taking the hit.
As the game progresses, you and your IT department will acquire new skills, new equipment, and new employees. Upgrading your equipment (with Intel products) will reduce the incidence of problems and increase productivity, leading to greater profits and better performance. You may be tempted to buy the best equipment immediately, but remember, IT staffing costs can be substantial and pesky new employees require new workstations to do their pitifully easy sales and production jobs, so go slowly.
Despite feeling like work, Intel IT Manager is an entertaining way to fritter away your Friday (or any day really). Since it can be defined as “work-related” (cough cough), it might be worth signing up for an account and playing for a few hours. Who knows... maybe you might feel a sudden urge to buy a Core 2 Duo afterwards? Check it out here. TGIF.
- Entertaining way to learn why your IT guys are always so pissed off
- Mini-games are fun the first few times
- It's free
- Can't shake the feeling that this feels like work
- May remind you of your own boring, monotonous job
- It's just one big Intel ad