Dec 2, 2013
Football Manager Handheld 2014 continues Football Manager’s sister series on mobile. Known for its newbie friendly gameplay and tactical depth, has SI improved on the formula?
For the uninitiated, Football Manager simulates the entire career of a football team manager. From hiring and firing players, training regimens and on the pitch tactics, Football Manager models everything right down to relationships with individual players. Football Manager Handheld is a cut down, but still deep version of the main PC game made for mobile devices.
FM2014 has a handful of new features. The two most useful ones is that now after matches a summary of the match with a few key points detailing strengths and weaknesses of the team’s performance is shown. During a match, real time stats showing possession and other important stats are shown as well. This is a real boon when working out where the squad’s weaknesses are.
Another major feature is the ability to create a while new club. Creating a club replaces an existing one from the league chosen. Every option, from the size of the stadium to training facilities can be tweaked and an entire new squad can be created.
Football Manager Handheld 2014 just doesn’t really change enough that it could be considered a different game from 2013 however. The few useful features added could have been easily patched into 2013 and the same problems that have plagued FM2013 remain. It lacks features compared to its big brother.
Amazingly, the player still can’t give team talks or have detailed chats with players If they are performing poorly your options are to reprimand them or drop them to the reserves. They can be can’t threatened with the transfer list for poor performance and they can’t even give feedback.
Just like the last two games, tactical options are embarrassingly limited. This makes it hard to respond to a string of bad form, as the player is limited in the way that they can interact with problem players or tweak tactics.
Still despite its problems, the old magic that is Football Manger is still there. There is still the fun of taking a team in the lowest leagues (go Vauxhall Motors!) and building them up to a top flight team. Of taking a team, tossing out most of the old, overpaid players (Chris Martindale I’m looking at you) and signing a bunch of promising youth, personally supervising their training and proceeding to dominate.
FM2014 packs a new interface, sporting a flat, colored look somewhat like iOS7. The new match engine that debuted on PC isn’t present here and the sound is just as non-existent as last year.
Football Manager Handheld 2014 is as fun as always and the new tweaks are very welcome. However FM Handheld has made no great strides in the three games on the platform. At least a few of the more complex elements from the PC version must make the journey to Android if SI is to keep the series going on mobile.