The idea behind Tracksuit Manager, as with ail the other footie sims, is to guide your team to victory in both the Nations Cup (otherwise known as the European Cup) and then the World Cup. The entire game is set as a huge loop, first you play through the Nations Cup, and then you go through the World Cup which takes 4 years altogether (game time, not real time, this isn't Football Director 2, you know). I can quite safely say that Tracksuit Manager is the best of its genre, as this is an area that's relatively untapped. As far as I can remember, the only other games to cover this field are World Cup Manager and International Manger.
The entire game, as you may have noticed, is set out in the form of windows and boxes and all looks very neat. The screen presentation is top rate in all respects with the programmers making full use of different sized lettering and very tasteful colour schemes.
TSM is, unsurprisingly, menu-operated, with any available commands contained in a little window at the bottom of the screen, and a joystick is used to cycle through and select.
The depth of strategy in TSM is what makes it stand out way ahead of the rest. That and the amazing technical specifications. You have all the usual options of who you want to put where, as is to be expected, and there is a lot more. You can give overall instructions to the team, such as how you want them to play (i.e. attacking or defensive), and you can tell them how long to keep their shots, long for distance, short for accuracy, and more besides (see box). Then, to add even more depth, you have an individual player tactics screen, with which you can tell each player individually what to do, such as stay up, take penalties and so on.
The match itself is completely different to anything else you might have seen before. Instead of high res full colour graphics, you get a small drawing of a pitch with a highlighted strip to show the area in which the ball is currently residing. Above the box is the thing that sets TSM away from anything else ever seen on any other football game. A continuous flow of text gives you a running commentary of exactly what is going on. If you've ever played Football Director for a few hours, you'll know the frustration of waiting for that winning goal to come up on screen. Goliath has managed to cram an awful lot into the 48K Speccy. Unfortunate though that the newspaper reports have had to be dropped. However, they have managed to get (huurgh deep breath) over 800 'real' players with all the same statistics as they have in real life, 54 computer managed teams, 'intelligent' opponents and 2 spelling mistakes ('subtitute' and penaltys'). After all this, I have been told, there were only 2 spare bytes left, and the general Goliath joke is, 'How come you've still got two bytes left?'... Har-de-har-har.
TSM is brilliant. It's got everything a good strategy game needs. Good, clean layout, good game speed and it's very easy to use. Buy it.
Label: Goliath Games
Reviewer: Tony Dillon
The best ever managerial game. The one your Speccy has been waiting for.
Screen 1: MAIN SCREEN
It's on this screen that you select the players you want to have on your squad, you accelerate past dates you're not playing in, and gain access to the diary and cup details.Screen 2: DIARY SCREENIt's here you arrange friendly fixtures with opposing teams and check up on any forthcoming matches.Screen 3: TEAM TACTICS SCREENHere you can alter the overall tactics of your team such as formation, playing style and tackling style.Screen 4: PLAYER TACTICS SCREENThis is where things get really heavy. (Metallll). You can tell players who to mark, where to stay on the pitch and how long to kick.