FM Handheld 2012
For::virtually unlimited replay value. Tutorial mode to help new players.
Against::Massive battery hog. Lacks a few licenses.
The world’s most popular sports management game finally arrives on the world’s most popular mobile platform.
Football manager handheld has been available on iPad and iPhone’s for some time now and now finally the world’s most popular sports management game finally arrives on the world’s most popular mobile platform.
Football Manager Handheld 2012 might be a cut-down version of the desktop version but it most certainly doesn’t feel like a lesser product. There are more than 20,000 players available in the game and you can manage teams from more than 30 leagues across the world. If however you are expecting the same level of complexity the computer version offers you will be somewhat disappointed. The 3D mach engine, dressing room team talks and press conferences that have became a standard of recent editions have all been stripped away. But what is left is something more refined, focused and instantly accessible. You don’t need to progress through multiple menus simulating endless days before you can actually start taking charge of team management.
FMH offers the basic core components that have made FM the world’s most popular sports management game. After initial manager set up and board room pleasantries you’ll be presented with the home screen, where you can check your e-mail, check out your chosen team’s squad and tactics, search player databases, and view any other competition from any available continent. Initial menus are simple and easily accessed with their large finger sized button. Submenus however look initially intimidating, cluttered and aren’t entirely accommodating to a touch based interface.
For the most part the touch interface is extremely intuitive. Sadly the one area the touch screen fails to sufficiently improve upon or even equal a mouse interface is in the tactics and formation screen. Selecting, dragging and dropping players into a position are extremely haphazard. Precise positioning of a player should be simple, as players can only be places in particular positions on the pitch, but because player indicators are significantly smaller than your finger you can’t get a precise placement of players.
Visually FMH feels like something of a return to a simpler time. Gone is the real-time match engine and what you get is something of a return to Championship Manager styled experience. Coloured possession bars fluctuate while text-based commentary flashes epileptically in front of your face. There is the option to view match actions interoperated through the use of circular indicators but the action is slow, jerky and doesn’t give you any insight into where your team is making mistakes or how you can unlock the oppositions defence.
The game features two game modes to play, the regular 30 season career and the shorter challenge mode, which offers a particular short-term scenario with a clear goal to be achieved. Challenge mode offers a taxing alternative to the regular career, challenges aren’t for the faint hearted and should certainly be avoided by novice managers. Attempting to drag an injury ravaged squad out of a relegation dog fight with limited funds while still meet the board of director’s lofty expectations is no simple task.
Fundamentally the game is just as addictive as its larger, more complex, desktop based brother. But just like the desktop edition FMH is just as baffling, complex and inaccessible for new user. If you like football management games you will enjoy this absorbing and challenging game.