Taken from History Of…Football Management Games – Part 1;
After the strategy-fest of Football Director, this feels very much like a step backwards.
Harking back to earlier efforts, the premise of the game is built around a specific objective, rather than the more open-ended style of FD. After loading up, players are offered a contract before starting life at the bottom of the third division (there are only three). The aim of the game is to work your way up the divisions until you achieve the ultimate aim of winning the league and cup double.
It is quaint playing games such as this and FA Cup and remembering just how important the competition was to football fans back in the mid-eighties. The game itself is rather less inspiring with a series of fairly horrible menus to be negotiated before you can find what you are looking for and not very much of interest to look at when you get there. With no individual skill settings for players, your only indication of a players ability is their weekly wage, whilst the team selection page is a pain to negotiate, offering little incentive to change your players around.
One very nice touch though is the scout report. Set your man off to run the rule over somebody and he’ll come back the week after with a neat little write up on his key strengths, together with an estimated selling price. It’s a good touch that hints at what might have been but sadly is one of the few highlights.
To be honest this is all very much a chore to play. Results grind through on a garish blue vidiprinter style results service but with no focus on your particular match, it is all too easy to miss your team’s score, the only sign of another soul destroying defeat being your manager competence rating dropping another percent. The absence of skill ratings makes it difficult to sift the wheat from the chaff, fine in theory if this is a conscious design decision to make the game more human and less stats based, but in practise it is less satisfying to play.
Looking back now it is hard to see the appeal, especially with so many other superior titles more worthy of your time.