Ere we go, 'ere we go, 'ere we go... and yes indeed, there we jolly well go with the official Manchester United football sim and it's quite remarkable.
Man U should be classed as an active management simulation as what you must do is to manage the team using all the usual ingredients of training, squad picking, transfers, suspensions, injuries and wheeler dealing that we've come to expect from footy sims. Where Manchester United scores is in the ease of play and the fact that two players can play against each other.
The game is in two parts - if you're running it on a 48K machine with you'll have to load the strategy part and the arcade football part for each game that's played although, amongst the multitudinous options, there is the chance to dispose of the game part of the game. If you prefer to be the Trevor Francis of computer football you can take control of the players in each game. This is the weakest part of the game though and the option to let the teams play off under their own control by not using the joystick after the kick off is a good one. You can then watch your team progress through the match - if you want to see it all then the game can run for a whole 90 minutes. I find that five minutes each way is usually enough to get a conclusive result, especially if under the game difficulty option you tone both the goalkeepers abilities down to around 65%. If you do go for the arcade style of play then there are free kicks, corners, two full sides of 11 men and various types of kicking power in what certainly is a good football arcade sequence. There are better but I haven't seen too many.
All in all, Manchester United is one of the best strategy games I've seen on the Spectrum. The icon driven menus make the game by far one of the friendliest simulations on the market and the arcade match section makes it a must for all trackside football manager simulations fans whilst the arcade sequence should make it a viable buy for even the most hardened joystick junkie.
Reviewer: Garth Sumpter
Possibly the best football manager on the market: for sim fans who want some action.
The main menu is letter with luverly jubily iconbs. Play a match, train the boys, look at injuries/suspensions or read the paper.