Player Manager 98/99

Sport 1999 Windows Anco Software Soccer Team management

A sick parrot

The Player Manager series has seen some changes since its inception back in 1990 on the old 16-bit systems and managed to keep going for ten years, which isn't a bad run. However, this installment proves to be the absolute nadir of the franchise and is a truly terrible soccer game which is not worth touching with a ten foot barge pole. You're better off with Championship Manager and avoiding this like the plague. This one is very much a management game, which sees the player in control of the team of their choice while also controlling a player who is close to retirement. You don't actually control your avatar on the pitch though, and instead all control is very much from the bench. The game offers the usual variety of teams, modes and options, and makes use of the Kick Off 97 engine to represent the matches themselves. There's a small range of tactics open to managers, while there's also some flexibility in terms of training, picking sides and other such things. While all this sounds decent enough on paper, in practice, it all goes a bit wrong. Actual matches are decent enough to watch, thanks to the use of the Kick Off engine, and provide a fair amount of thrills and spills. However, in terms of the management aspect, it's all a big let down. There just isn't enough depth or variety to provide anything but the most superficial experience and it soon becomes apparent that there's little of any worth to get stuck into. Decent visuals aside, this is a pretty ropy entry in a once solid series.

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