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SummaryNot quite what you would expect in 2019/2020
The GoodThe game has a lot of tournaments to partake in. As a manager you have total control over your football club. You can buy or sell players, sack them, hire coaches, set up a youth team etc.
The BadThe core of this game was created in 2001, and for the most part remains untouched. That is not a good thing. ManagerZone hasn't aged well at all.
Players have 11 different skills, where around half of them are active/important. Balls are used as visual presentation, which in my opinion looks a bit odd. Each skill ranges between 0 to 10, but technically it is 4 to 10 because maxings occur at whole balls between 4 and 10. The lack of skills (11) and the small scope (4 to 10) means that players tend to look identical.
In-game mechanisms aren't linked together at all. For example, a player can be training very well one day, and then hours later he can't progress any further due to having maxed out in that skill.
Youths are arriving with so little skills that it simply looks silly, like they have never played football before. The distribution of the skills they arrive with has no correlation with where their potential is. A player that has potential as a GK can and will arrive with 0,0 skill in that attribute. Again, no correlation between the various features.
The simulator is the worst I have seen in any football manager game, ever. And I have played "everything" when it comes to manager games. It be Kick Off Player Manager to Amiga back in the early 90's, or the latest FM (2019).
Recently the best team in ManagerZone lost 0-9 in the domestic league. Shots on target was 6-12. This happens mainly because GK are incredibly inconsistent. One match they are Lev Yashin, next they play like a concussed Lorius Karius. This also results in a severe lack of correlation between shots on target and goals scored. Here are some bizarre examples: 18-5 in shots on target = 0-5 in score 35-5 in shots on target = 0-0 in score 24-2 in shots on target = 0-2 in score
Such a weak simulation of the matches results in a very frustrating gaming experience, because at the end of the day everything you do in the game is to prepare you for the actual match day. But when the simulator is so inaccurate and random, then it feels pointless to buy better players, improve them through training, etc.
Additionally, there are next to no statistics inside the game. No historic table over league winners, marathon tables, or all-time top scorer tables. Nothing! This is some next level absurdity, since most people who are interested in football manager games, have an addiction to statistics. You can't get up any statistics about your team or players, but you can buy tattoos for the latter... No seriously, you can. There is an in-game shop where you can buy fluff for your players. If that's your thing. Even change their haircut.
The original developers of this game were great, but MZ has been sold a few times over the years. Currently the developers are terrible and have very little knowledge about game design. They also harass certain users publicly. They refuse to modernize the game, and only add fluff and linear features.