Title: Football Manager 2020 Touch
Developer: Sports Interactive
Genre: Sports, Simulation
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: PEGI 3
Release Date: 10/12/19
Price: £29.99 – Rapid Reviews was very kindly provided with a review code for this title.
The Beautiful Game
Football. Everyone has an opinion. Do something with yours!
The concept of Football Manager sims aren’t new, and I first dipped my toe into this genre with Championship Manager 01/02 on the original Xbox, long before SEGA acquired the IP and produced the Football Manager games we see today. These were the good old days of Wonderkids such as Cherno Samba, Tonto Zola Moukoko and Maxim Tsigalko. Each would give Ronaldinho a run for his money. Too much football geekery? Ok I’ll simmer down.
Addiction. A brain disorder characterised by compulsive engagement in rewarding stimuli despite adverse consequences, the simplest summation to these games I could think of. I’ve spoken to many friends through the years and colleagues at work who have spent literal days on end playing Football Manager. Broken relationships, neglected spouses, lost jobs, underperformance and near failure of University Degrees, the list goes on.
These games destroy lives…
Yet, if you love football, or just love simulation and data analysis these are the games that make you think, that make you analyse trends, take risks and win the Premiership with the most obscure outliers in League Two. Perseverance is key, they make dreams a reality.
So this particular incremental update for 2020 sees the continuation of SEGA publishing 3 separate versions of the gaming franchise:
Football Manager 2020 (classic PC version with all of that hard sourced scout data and training and refinements)
Football Manager 2020 Touch (a slightly stripped down version optimised for Touch Input, for PC as well as iOS, Android Tablets and Nintendo Switch)
Football Manager Mobile 2020 (a really stripped version, that offers a bite sized experience for mobile)
Today we look at the Touch version and I must kick off by saying the controls are a real pain for Nintendo Switch. The Switch as we all know has a touch screen, but honestly its rarely used for menu controls, and playing on my Switch Lite meant that touching minuscule menu bars and info boxes often missed the mark for a game most will like to play at a speedy intensity. You could instead use the shoulder buttons which are mapped to menu drop down windows, but combining this with A and B certainly slowed me down even further. Strike two. So next I tried out the joystick which evokes a slow motion mouse cursor which was worse that the previous two input methods. The resulting decision was to begrudgingly try and find a way forward to play the game utilising all 3 at different stages of the game itself, it never normalised and still feels clunky to this day.
The game itself though has very much built on its history of detail, and with teams across 116 Leagues and 51 Nations it impressively runs buttery smooth on the switch with minimal loading and pause screens between matches and results.
The game also presents itself with a wonderful 3D engine to observe the build up play around matches, to see in-game highlights and near misses and see your tactical masterpiece come together in a wonder goal. It’s a fulfilling experience, and brings the simulation experience to life really well. Normally this feature would be one I’d switch off in the pursuit of speed and efficiency, but I really enjoyed the more relaxed pace this offers on the Switch.
A new addition added for this version of FM20 is Development Centre, which enables you to take control of your Youth Team at the club, nurture their development and create a grass roots wonder-kid of your own. It’s a fulfilling part of the game that challenges your intuition as a manager.
I also really loved the way that SEGA have evolved the role you as a manager have with the board and this version of FM allows you to establish and build a culture and vision at the club that runs far deeper than just wage budget and transfer budget. Instead it affects your playing style and also sees you attract different and perhaps unexpected players to your club, after all the culture of a club runs far deeper than just the manager in charge.
All in for what is a refinement of a much loved genre, and forgiving some of the clunky controls and input options this is a great experience for the switch. Personally I would ditch the touch input and optimise the on screen menus for a smaller handheld but this is nitpicking for a game that has and will continue to offer me hours and hours of enjoyment, and can easily slide into my backpack for the commute to work.
Now. Just one more season…..
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can purchase Football Manager 2020 Touch from the Nintendo eShop on the following link: https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch-download-software/Football-Manager-2020-Touch-1696442.html