The Manager (US Gold) Review | Amiga Power - Everygamegoing

Amiga Power

The Manager
By U. S. Gold
Amiga 500

Published in Amiga Power #14

The Manager

In the unlikely event of anyone ever ploughing through the entirety of this game's tragically-written, impossibly long and muddled manual, that person will find that The Manager is a football management sim (surprise!) with, well, pretty much everything you'd expect a football management sim to contain these days. In other words, you've got oodles or competitions, oceans of statistics, endless financial juggling and lots and lots (and lots!) of menu screens.

Unfortunately, none of these have any words on them, with almost the entire game being played out via a series of immensely unhelpful icons. (And where there are words, the game seems to ignore them. When a menu asking if you want to watch a 'spectacular' European Cup draw crops up, for example - and it's only spectacular if you're impressed by small boxes with the names of football teams in them drifting up the screen one at a time to form a fixture list - you can click away quite happily on the 'No Way!' icon, only to have the screen clear and the exact same question come up again. The third time round it usually gets the message, but you'll be asleep by then).

When you eventually manage to negotiate your way into an actual match, it's slightly more impressive. True, most of the time you get to watch little more than an almost totally black screen with some numbers counting up, but occasionally that's interrupted by what's in fact a pretty nifty animated highlights section - spoiled only by the fact that your team seems to shoot the same way in each half of the game! Even more bizarre, though, is the fact that the two teams seem to swap strips too! In effect this makes it impossible to tell which lot are actually yours at any given time - at least until one of them gets a goal and the scoreboard changes. No, I didn't understand it either...

So where does that leave us? Well, the bitter truth is that it's been a long time since a football management game has proved to be a worthy full-pricer, and nothing's been changed by this effort. If you really force yourself, you can get the hang of the icons and play the game properly, but all you'll find when you do is a game so bog-standard and bereft of imagination that you'll bitterly regret every wasted second of effort. Awful.

The Bottom Line

Tedious and confusing. Excellent highlights sequence raises the tone a bit, but this is a game for illiterate social inadequates only. The anti-icons campaign starts here.

Stuart Campbell

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