Developer: SEGA
Price: $9.99
Version Reviewed: 2.1

Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★½☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Reviewing a game like Football Manager Handheld 2011 is a tough task because the game really doesn’t have graphics to speak of and requires a real love of soccer (football to the rest of the world). As a super niche game though, there is a lot to like in Football Manager 2011, but also plenty to gripe about.

The thing that is most bothersome about Football Manager 2011 on the iPhone is the fact that the screen really isn’t large enough to display all the text that you want to see on a single page. To compensate, the app uses dozens of confusing menus and pages to flip through, and has all sorts of sliders that are functional, but definitely are not ideal for use. For example, modifying your side in match requires a slightly bizarre invisible slider that is far too sensitive for its own good. It does the job, but like many menu systems in the game, it’s awkward.

If you can get past the clunky interface though, you will be treated to the most in-depth soccer management sim money can buy. In the app you can play as the manager of just about any team in the world (no MLS though… sorry America), and do all the trading, player signing, strategy manipulation, and in-game maneuvering that you’ve ever wanted to do. The game also contains just about every player in every division in the world, so if you interested in starring Leon Constantine of York City F.C. you can do so (25 goals in my first year as manager!).

Before you decide on purchasing the fairly pricy game though, just know that there are very few graphics in Football Manager 2011. You aren’t really playing soccer, you’re just managing your team. If you want to get a feel for the game, play through a few seasons of FIFA 11 without playing a single match, just auto-play all the games. If the managerial side is your thing, you’ll probably get a kick out of Football Manager 2011. Have patience though, it isn’t the easiest game to get used to.

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