Your regular, well done, soccer management game
Championship Manager 96/97 represents a game well into the secondary lease of retro/modern run of manager games for soccer. It's still doesn't show any of the signs that make modern managers so much easier to play and so much more casual, but if you're in for a sturdy, non frustrating experience, but a pretty hands down one, this game will definitely deliver. You get all the bare necessities, all the different managerial screens which all revolve a certain portion of the real world counterpart. You buy, sell, negotiate salaries and set your goals, manage your overall budget and your press, and finally, you get to train and see your team perform. At the level of the filed play you get a good balance of options, shouts from the coach's side and other tactical options. That good balance of the elements that makes you feel that your choices and options are making a difference is all there, to a sufficiently good degree, so you won't feel as if you're playing a game of chance against the computer. So, ultimately, the game feels ok, not too dated, not too modern, is playable, and is one of the better games from the era when management gaming was still a lot more hands down.