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Written by  :  Martin Smith (78)
Written on  :  Oct 29, 2003
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars

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In hindsight, not actually all that good

The Good

The transfer market worked well, apart from one detail. All the statistics you could want were stored, season by season. The player personalities were a nice touch. It was easy to move through information for clubs, players and statistics.

The Bad

Compared to other management games at the time, especially Gremlin's excellent Premier Manager, the presentation was laughable, with boxes of text representing everything, and matches played out with just some vague text comments. This also made it hard to know what you were doing wrong.

There wasn't much to do, with no training, sponsorship, ground improvements or staff hiring / firing. There wasn't as much tactical versatility as there should've been. For no apparent reason, only 80 teams were included rather than the real 92.

It was also heavily dependent on the right formation - 4-2-1-3 and home and 4-3-1-2 away would guarantee rapid promotions as long as the support man was good. Forget having to alter your tactics for different matches, there's no need.

It was almost impossible to sign overseas players, despite a specific option existing for them. Getting young player into your squad was completely random as well. There were too many tricks, such as setting a player's value at maximum and retiring him to get an extra bundle of cash.

Thanks probably to the amount of data being stored, it was prone to crashing and corrupting, although this was worse on the floppy-based Amiga version.

The Bottom Line

A very basic text-based soccer management game, obsessed with statistics and lacking realism, depth or variety. The later games really improved on this.

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