Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
Football Manager Handheld 2010 for iPhone
FM 2010 Handheld for iPhone allows users to carry the hopes, dreams and fortunes of their favourite football team in their pocket.
- Easy to pick up and play, astounding level of detail for an iPhone game, similar match day experience to PC versions, fast to load
- Lacks a lot of features found in PC versions, small screen makes finger taps and drags hit and miss, 2D match view is slow and limited
It can't match the depth of the PC version and there are a few annoying omissions, but Football Manager Handheld 2010 for iPhone remains a credible and entertaining game that will keep you occupied for hours on end.
Price$ 14.99 (AUD)
Football lovers have hit the jackpot in 2010, with the FIFA World Cup rolling around yet again. Fanatics of the world game will undoubtedly be familiar with Sports Interactive's Football Manager game, which lets you lead your team to glory as the manager, buying and selling players, attending media conferences, scouting new signings and coming up with your own tactics, formations and training. This famous game has now been ported to the iPhone, allowing users to carry the hopes, dreams and fortunes of their favourite football team in their pocket.
The Football Manager games have always prided themselves on the ridiculous level of detail, but the iPhone version involves a slimmed down version of the full game. Despite lacking the depth found in the PC version, Football Manager Handheld 2010 for iPhone remains a credible and entertaining game that will keep you occupied for hours on end.
Many of the features found in the PC version are missing — training is simplified, there are no media conferences before or after games, the database of players is much smaller, you can't hire backroom staff (such as scouts and coaches), there are no youth or reserve teams and you can't give pre-match, half-time or post match team talks.
Though it may sound like the game lacks a lot compared to its bigger brother, the nature of the iPhone demands a title that is less fiddly and more pick up and play — and Football Manager Handheld 2010 duly delivers. You can still edit your formation, request detailed reports on players in your own team and those you're interested in signing, negotiate playing contracts, and even criticise or praise players for poor or excellent form, so this remains one of the most detailed iPhone games on offer in the App Store. Just to give you a quick idea of the level of detail, Football Manager Handheld 2010 for iPhone allows you to manage in 34 leagues around the world and has a database of more than 20,000 real life players.
Once you've chosen your club to manage, it all comes down to game day. Here, Football Manager Handheld 2010 for iPhone is a similar experience to the full PC version. Matches can be viewed in a top down 2D view, or plain text, and you can speed up or slow down the commentary, watch replays of key highlights and make substitutions during the match. There is also a detailed statistics report with critical stats like possession, completed passes, errors and time in opposition half. Though Sports Interactive deserves plaudits for bringing a 2D view to the iPhone, we prefer to just read text-only commentary — the 2D engine is slow, limited and often struggles to keep up with the text.
Perhaps the best aspect of Football Manager Handheld 2010 for iPhone is its speed. Whereas some of the newer versions of FM chug along on anything but the latest PC's, Football Manager Handheld 2010 for iPhone is quick to load, making it easy to pick up and play. You're never left feeling as if you're always waiting for a round of Champions League or International games to complete, and you can get through a full season fairly quickly.
Unfortunately, the iPhone's small screen makes it hard to pick a starting 11, particularly when moving players around. The text feels too small and selecting the wrong player with an innocuous finger tap is a common experience. Strangely, you also can't listen to music while playing the game, even though there is no in-game sounds. We can only hope this is corrected in a future software update.
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