Spectrum 2.0

Review of 'Football Manager'

Rating:4 User: Matt_B

Back in 1982 this game marked the birth of a new genre, of sports management games, that's still going strong to this day in a recognizably similar fashion.

As you'd expect, Football Manager is relatively primitive, written entirely in BASIC and with only a scant handful of options that allow you to pick your team and manage the club finances. The mechanics are fairly simple; try to pick a mix of defenders, midfielders and strikers, keep up your overall stamina by rotating the squad where necessary and deal with injuries as best you can. All in all, it strikes a pretty good balance between demanding too much micromanagement and giving enough options to keep your interest up.

One of the features of the game is match highlighs, which are animated with UDG stickmen. You'll see a player in a scoring position and they'll take a shot either to score, miss or get it blocked. Crazy though this might sound it actually works and you find yourself willing your players on. Whilst this part of the game is essentially random, you do get a lot more scoring opportunities by making good management decisions and building up a good squad.

Of course, this is far from a perfect game and fans of later examples of the genre will find it all a bit on the simple side. It's also tediously slow in parts, particularly sorting the tables after the results are in, due to its BASIC nature.