Acorn User

Football Manager

Author: Harry Sinclair
Publisher: Addictive Games
Machine: Acorn Electron

Published in Acorn User #032

What an interesting game. When you kick off (to coin a phrase), you're at the bottom of the fourth division, managing a side of your own choice. Naturally, I picked Manchester United, but if you really want a lguht you could pick Arsenal, Liverpool, Accrington Stanley or some such band of one-legged brigands.

You're allowed a squad of sixteen, and you have to look after them, making sure that their energy levels don't fall too low (It's the women you knowk, what can you do?. When you need to bring in some new blood, the transfer market is open to you. If you're a bit broke you can always tap that ever-friendly supplier of funds and part-time carrion crow, your bank manager!

You have to guide your squad through the full season. If you're something of a star supremo, like what I am, you move up through the divisions quite quickly - how fast depends on which of the seven skill levels you have chosen. Edited highlights of each game are shown, just to torment you and reduce your nails to tatters. Mode 7 '3D' graphics are used to surprisingly good effect here.

Football Manager

It really is a very gripping game as you battle through, plagued by injuries and financial worries, but the joy of that lap of honour round the living-room after you've thrashed Spurs 5-0 in the Cup Final makes it worthwhile.

One gripe. Me and the lads was sick as a parrot when we was demoted from the first to the fourth divvy on account of we wasn't able to load our saved position. Saving the position is easy enough but reloading it is another bag of chips. When the main game has loaded, and it's very long, no screen messages appear to let you know any attempt is being made to load your data file. It you haven't previously wound your data tape to the correct position, or if your tape player is a bit dodgy you're doomed to starting each session in division four and loading the whole game at least twice.

Otherwise excellent.

Harry Sinclair

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