Football Manager 2
The sequel to Kevin Toms' famous football strategy game is here, and ready to test your managerial skills. A skill level is chosen, then a team is selected from the 92 available, and players positioned in one of the three pitch areas. Your opponent's information is already displayed, and your players should be matched against players of lesser or equal skill.
The match then begins with you, the manager, watching the on-pitch action from the bench. At half time, player positions can be altered and substitutions made, hence altering strategy to match the halfway situation. At full time, all the scores for your division are shown, then the league table.
An injury report for your team is displayed, which may affect your decisions on the transfer market and training field.
If fast graphic football action is what you're after, turn the page, because Football Manager 2 is played using menus. What graphics there are are OK, for their purpose, though the watch-only matches could have been a lot better.
Strategists, particularly those who are football fans, will be instantly hooked and, apart from annoying over-sensitivity in the player position section, mouse control causes no problems.
There is sufficient depth, particularly in the training section, for your managerial skills to be honed, and varied, so lasting interest is quite high. Decision-makers, this game is for you.
I've never actually played the 'classic' Football Manager, but as it must be more basic than this, I'm glad I didn't. It's not that this is a bad game by any means, but involved strategy games are just a genre I don't particularly enjoy.
I have to admit though, that Football Manager 2's menu-drive system does make the game easy to get into, but the player position screens are a chore to use due to confusing and over-sensitive mouse controls.
The matches themselves are boring to watch, and a waste of time as the players' actions don't seem to competently mirror what the 'manager' has decided in his selections. Whether or not this will appeal to you depends heavily on whether or not you're well into football and strategy games. If you're a fan of both you're likely to disregard these shortcomings anyway, so you should certainly take a look at Football Manager 2.
The menu system would work well were it not for awkward mouse control response.
Poor match graphics but functional elsewhere.
A few bleeps here and there to acknowledge button presses.
Quite easy to get into if strategy games are your style.
A lot of depth for the budding Kenny Dalglishes (in a managerial capacity, that is!)
A football game that will appeal more to strategists than fast-action and thrill seekers.