OJO Agent is Jerry Maguire’s kind of Facebook game
Has it really been 16 years since Jerry Maguire? Apparently it doesn’t matter. Cuba Gooding, Jr. is more likely to star in direct-to-DVD flops than Academy Award fodder and Tom Cruise may content himself with a movie a year, but apparently we’re still as fascinated with sports agents as ever. OJO Agent hopes to cash in on this fascination by allowing players to sample almost every aspect of a sports agent’s life–aside from, you know, having a change of heart and making up with Renée Zellweger. And for the most part, it does its job well.
Even so, it’s a little daunting at first. OJO Agent is the kind of social game that brims with stats, menus, and options lurking behind each click of the mouse, but that may come as welcome news for sports fans accustomed to poring over tables of scores and batting averages. Those same fans might also welcome OJO‘s focus on real life locations and players. Every step of your journey to making money off of another person’s career is a festival of name dropping, ranging from choosing a specific city and region for your agency and courting real-world prospects such as Derek Jeter, to snagging real world gifts to entice them such as iPhones and Cohiba cigars. About the only thing it doesn’t let you do is play as a real life agent such as Leigh Steinberg.
Most contracts begin with a simple cold call, and it’s up to you to convince the sportsman to hire you to take care of their endorsements. Some of the requests are serious; some have a dose of humor. Some even fail, which adds a nice touch of challenge. When I tried to convince one baseball player that I had what it takes to be his agent, for instance, he sent me on an errand to buy some expensive cigars and to then buy some BlackBerrys for use as ashtrays. (Yes, you read that right.) When I came through, he stated that he was just joking with me, but he decided to sign on because I made him happy.
It’s keeping your contracts happy that proves a challenge. Not only do you have to spoil them with little gifts like the ones above, but you also have to net them sponsors and endorsements. One of the biggest selling points of OJO Agent is that you can keep track of all this stuff on your Facebook app on your smart phone, but I couldn’t get it to show up on my “apps” sidebar no matter how many times I reset the app or just restarted the phone. That may be more of an issue with Facebook than with OJO Agent, but the game works fine even without this welcome secondary feature.
But as Cuba Gooding, Jr. famously said 16 years ago, the goal of a sports agent is to show their clients the money, and that’s your job here. Once you start getting your clients enough extra cash, their success flows back to you and you can use it to expand your operations in a social space that allows you to build new buildings for to show off to your friends in one of the game’s few social perks. In time, developer Jogonaut promises, you’ll even be able to play tricks on your friends and sabotage their efforts, but most social interaction is limited to comparing your progress on the leaderboards.
Still, OJO Agent works fine as a single player game, although leaderboards might be enough to keep players playing provided your fellow players share your appreciation of sports, and, for that matter, knowledge of the impressiveness of their names you’ve recruited. Indeed, if you’ve ever found yourself more attracted to this business side of sports than the sweaty business of actually playing, OJO Agent is worth a play.