Sega surprised many soccer fans by releasing a Football Manager Classic game near the end of last season and giving many mobile managers a much better on-the-go experience. Football Manager Classic 15 was very close to the same experience that you get on the PC but not without its flaws. The biggest one being is that because this was the first version out of the gate, a lot of the touch responses did not work and weird bugs caused the game to crash at times.
In Football Manager Touch 2016 (PC, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS), while many of the touch responses have been fixed, a few crashes and loading bugs still remain to keep this from being the perfect experience.
I won’t go into the specifics of the game because this is a near mirror image of the desktop version of Football Manager, which was released a few weeks ago. Suffice to say that while Football Manager Handheld 2016 is a good on-the-go experience, Football Manager Touch 2016 is a better representative of its desktop brother. As with desktop classic, this version foregoes having team talks, press conferences, and the like which lets players do what they want to do best — manage their team.
Like its desktop counterpart, this version is better graphically. On the tactics screen, you have a very improved visual idea of where players should play as the GUI will color code players and warn you if any are out of position. This version is much less reliant on menus and allows players to navigate freely although occasionally there are a few things you will find yourself looking for. For example, it took me quite a bit to figure out how to set man-marking in the game.
While I am happy that the game day engine is still included in this package, I am disappointed that the resolution is not as good as the previous version. I am playing this on an iPad Air and although the engine doesn’t change that much from year to year, I can’t see needing a newer iPad just to get the maximum out of this game graphically.
The last disappointment that I want to discuss is the bugs that are still present here that were in last year’s edition. The game sometimes will crash unexpectedly and worse yet during the course of a game. Also, whether you are recovering from a crash or taking a game from a suspended state, it’s disheartening that the game doesn’t pick up where it left off a lot of times, not to mention that the loading screen takes nearly as long as its desktop counterpart. A few times, I had the game crash at the end of a game and upon reloading on at least 2 occasions, the result changed drastically. One game I had to replay because mysteriously one of my players was injured.
I have tried the cross-save and it’s a lot more involved than what I thought it was going to be to sync games but it does work. As a warning to players, you have to be playing Football Manager Classic on the desktop as well in order for this to work. Playing the full version will not allow you to sync saves.
Beyond the bugs, this is still one of the best mobile management games on the market. It’s still as stat heavy as ever. Graphically it’s better. And without so many menus, it’s easier to navigate.
In the future, the only way that this game can improve will be with the allowable use of face packs and logo packs to liven up the experience. I am hoping that during the course of the year a lot of the bugs plaguing this game can be ironed out.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Football Manager Touch 2016 is available for purchase on Android and Apple iOS devices, as well as PC, Mac and Linux.
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