For many years I loved the Championship Manager series, until the Sports Interactive & EIDOS split when I continued with the “true champ man”, Football Manager. I’ve previously even tried some of the mobile / PSP versions, although I found that a watered down version of the game didn’t work. I wanted to play it for ages, but without the depth it wasn’t that enjoyable.
However despite this and against my better judgement, I decided to give Champ Man 16 a go on my iPad and you know what? It is fun.
The tactical options are pretty limited. Contract and transfers are pretty limited. In fact the general depth is missing, just like the poor Football Manager mobile games that I played (and other wannabes). However what improves this game and makes it a more well designed and enjoyable experience to what I’ve played previously (a long while ago TBH) is that it brings in a lot of common mobile style elements.
Rather than having a complex system for setting up training and managing staff, the developers (Distinctive Developments?) have gone with a very mobile style system where you use an in game currency to upgrade resources. These are abstracted from the clubs finances and linked to your own performance, meaning that you aren’t having to make decisions based on the financial limitations of the club.
Of course this is taking out a lot of realism from a football management game, turning it into a more casual experience but I found that isn’t necessarily a bad thing either. I can blast through the game a lot quicker than previously. Because there’s fewer tactical options and the game’s UI is intended to keep everything nice and simple, you aren’t spending ages per match fine tuning your tactics. This adds to the whole “one more game”, especially as you can complete quite a lot.
The matches have a 2D representation of where the ball is which is no where near as good as even the first 2D match view for Football Manager but just don’t bother with that! Watching the text is very tense as you don’t know what is about to happen, how clear the chances are and I found this more gripping than watching some poorly animated sprites kicking the ball.
So yeah, quite an interesting game and certainly the best football management game that I’ve played on a device other than a PC. Well worth picking up, especially as its free! Hopefully unlike me you’ll be able to put it down as well!