Friday, June 06, 2008

ManagerZone football

I have discovered the world of online football managing games, and how fun it is.

I first tried, which was advertised on the web site of a Swedish TV channel. Although the concept seemed interesting, I decided to move to another game.

The main reason for my lack of satisfaction was the low usability of the user interface. For instance, when choosing the line-up and the formation, you cannot see the players' abilities, which forces you to go back and forth between pages. Another example is the strategy screen, which seems unfinished. It seems possible to choose between long and short passes, but I can't figure out how to do it. All my clicks on the screen remain unanswered. Weirdly, this screen lets you choose how much doping you want to use. Realistic? maybe, but it should have nothing to do there.

Another bad point is that the players' abilities are strongly skewed towards the physical: form, health, condition and strength. For all I know, my players could all be horses! Not much is said about the technical ability, play intelligence, heading capabilities...

Finally, all training is handled on a team basis. Your entire squad will have the same training, you can't train your players individually.

I then considered Hat Trick and ManagerZone. I went for the latter, as it offers 3d views of games. I am very pleased so far. Here is a random list of the things I like:
- Helpful help.
- Large community.
- The possibility to challenge other players
- You can create your own private leagues and cups. Note however that this feature is not free.
- Advanced training (handled individually, possibility to send players to training camps).
- Easy access to your players' capabilities.
- The preferred position of each player is unknown, you have to figure that out from the players' stats.
- Coaches have abilities, just as players do. Coach recruiting is non-trivial, and it should be that way. Finding good coaches to train you players is just as important as recruiting good players.

If you know other football managing games, please let me know, and don't forget to say what makes your game so special.