Here's the first game in a long time that only runs on the Amstrad 464 and not on the 664 and 6128. Strangely enough, another football management game Big League Soccer also ran only on 464 when it first came out back in December '85. That's the game that you've got to beat in the football management stakes on the Amstrad.
You start as the manager of a fourth division club of your choice and play through a season of 38 matches. The disk version of Big League Soccer had the FA Cup but Football Director also has the League Cup and European competitions. The European competitions do not appear until you win a cup or finish high enough in the league.
The menu screen has several options which are: play match, check match squad, transfer market fixtures, league table, employees and save game. Employees allows you to hire a youth team, coach, physio or scout. The scout is probably the most useful because he can look for a particular skill rated player of the type goalkeeper, defender, midfield or attacker. The skill ratings for players go from one up to international level.
The squad option lists your team and allows you to change it or sell players. "Fixtures" lists the matches and the results of those that have been played and the league table displays the.. er... league. "Check match" compares your team to your opponents and "play match" gets the game kicked off. The game also features crowd violence, sendings off, sponsors, TV coverage and testimonials - none of which is graphically represented of course.
The match highlights are a counter which counts up towards 90 minutes and the name of any goal scorers and the minute in which they scored. The results of the other matches in the division are displayed and the league table calculated.
There are no graphics in the game with everything being displayed in a table or as text. The program is also completely silent.
Since the game is written in BASIC, it is slow at times but this won't matter really. The worst part is that, at the end of the season, your position is saved to tape and you must then re-load the whole game. D&H Games claim that the game has to be re-loaded because the whole of memory is used.
I'm a sucker for football games. I just can't get enough of them. This one's good but not that good. It doesn't have that many advantages on other games and is not well presented. I long for a machine code football strategy game with speed, memory and lots of strategy. I'll keep hoping.
Get promoted to the third division.
N. No match highlights.
N. Or graphics of any kind for that matter!
Grab Factor 60%
N. Will probably only appeal to football fans.
N. Program has to be reloaded after every season!
Staying Power 70%
P. Offers more features than most football games.
N. Slowness proves irritating.