Sinclair User19th September 1992
Published in Sinclair User #131
Football Manager 3
Want some verbal abuse? Want to be insulted and belittled by the press? Feel like signing deals, chewing cigars and slicing the half time lemons for a team of your choice? From behind your desk you must select a team, organise the training schedules of your minions, but and sell players and organise times for the players to see the physiotherapist. Yes, the fun never stops in Football Manager 3.
The game is controlled by keyboard or joystick. You select your own keyboard controls for; up, down, left, right and two 'fire' buttons. One of these work as 'Enter' (used to access an item), the other takes you 'back' a step.
There are eight items represented on the office' screen; the door (exit stage left!), team training (represented by a framed picture of the team) and the board of directors (yet another framed picture of baldies on the wall). In front of you, on your desk, a telephone, a sheaf of memos, a diary and a computer, complete the list.Footie Manager 3, like all football management sims, is a game of judgement rather than joystick juggling skill as you plan your team's career and guide the club, with some clever wheeling and dealing, to the top. Don't forget your copy of the Sun mind you!
Each player's skills and abilities are represented by a bar chart, by pressing on a particular skill and then pressing the 'right' directional key, you increase the amount of training that player undergoes in that particular skill. It is a slow job going through the whole team, picking out the particular skills needed by each individual player but this is the only way to field a tailor made (get it? Tailor... Taylor? Aggggh!) team.
Sorting out the finances of the club is also a big job, you bgin with an overdraft facility from the bank, with which to by players. But remember that wages and expenses have to be paid too, so you mustn't leave yourself short. One of the best ways to make money is to buy cheap players, train them up to increase their value, and then sell them at a higher price. (It's slightly more glamorous than cattle farming).
In the filing cabinet are the club's records. There are files on each plater, details of his contract with the club, its expiry date etc. Forgetting to renegotiate a contract will result in the player disappearing from your team. If this happens you will be sacked for fielding an illegal team.
There are also records detailing the clubs performance, matches played, scores, and its position within the league. There are other sources of information, on the desk is a pile of memos for your attention, these are from various people, eg. the trainer, the talent scout etc.
Graphics are ok, but there's no sound to speak of. There is quite a lot of detail in Football Manager 3 but until you get used to it, the forwards-and-backwards menu system can get a little confusing.
Although this title breaks no new ground in terms of layout or presentation I'm sure many fans of football sims will want to add it to their collection. However, for what it is, Football Manager 3 does seem a bit pricey.
A classic it ain't, it's difficult to get excited about Football Manager 3. For serious football and simulation fans with good memories only. Otherwise you'll be completely frustrated.