Championship Manager 09 review
We review Championship Manager 09, the classic football management sim transported to mobile
If summers spent locked away in your bedroom playing computer games sound familiar, then chances are that you may well have been a fan of the hugely successful Championship Manager PC games. Whether you started your managerial career with a team lodged in the depths of obscurity or with any of the elite banks that pose as football clubs these days, it was the football game to own.
Tactical nous, man management and a keen eye for the next big talent, or bargain in most cases, is a requirement if you are to have any chance of reaching the heady heights of managerial stardom that beckon. Fans of the cult favourite will be pleased to know that the mobile version offers a similar experience – albeit on a much smaller scale.
In what is a surprisingly intuitive game, the Championship Manager cycle menu format is simple and stress-free to navigate around. Each option is where you would expect it to be, and access is a simple centre-buttoned affair. The only unsettling detail is that there are a number of options and fast-keys that you will initially be unaware of, simply due to the lack of screen space and the fact that the arrows pointing to them are too small for human eyes to see. Once you have a play around in various menus you will get an idea of what functions are available, making managerial life all the more easy.
Dealing with your extensive squad is the foremost feature of the Championship Manager games, and this proves to be particularly nifty on the mobile version. You can select your starting line-up and subs, choose from a range of preset formations and tactics and even change your set-pieces, captain and penalty-takers, should you fall foul of the dreaded cup shootouts.
In match mode, the brilliant 2D pitch of the PC games has been converted to a smaller scale in order to relay player movement, ball possession and goal attempts, and is a surprisingly effective.
We did fear the worst and were expecting the blinking, text-only commentary of yesteryear that caused hundreds of kids to go blind back in 1997. Also, should you be pushed for time, the game speed and commentary can be increased which means you can get through a month of games on your way home from the pub.
Other nifty features include a media management system, where conference questions will determine your status with the board and fans, and also very detailed player bios, which includes stats, fitness levels, ratings and previous match info.
It has to be noted that for all the astonishing amounts of detail that made the PC games so fantastically playable, it is rather unexpected that the compact, mobile version is still both fun and addictive. Naturally you can’t compare the two, but as a stand alone game that allows you to manage rather than play, then CM ’09 bags itself 3 points.