Know what I mean 'Arry: yeah boxing's a funny old game, but people like Muhammad Ali made their money out of it. And maybe Goliath will make theirs out of World Championship Boxing Manager, 'cos it isn't bad.
This is big league stuff: start naming the manager you control, then choose (and name) up to five boxers to manage, then into your office to drum up a bit of trade. A cursor can access five options: the filing cabinet with your guys fight records, contracts and rankings plus two boxing boards from the Federation Of World Boxing (FWB), and the World Council Of International Boxing (WCIB).
Your guys start 99th in each league, and by nattering on the dog and bone (telephone to you squire) you can contact 17 computer controlled managers to arrange fights. The boxing boards can be contacted when a fight has been arranged, and you can also ask your two scouts, Limpy and Wimpy, to nose around at other fights for you (to suss out the opposition). A look in your filofax informs you of the week's bouts (fight night is always a Friday), clicking on the calendar gives you the chance to advance dates (the game gets rather boring if the days are allowed to advance at their normal rate), and by exiting through the office door you can visit the gym and physio.
In the physio you check on your boxers' physical state, whilst in the gym your lads train for their forthcoming fights. On fight nights you choose whether to attend or not, but if one of your guys is fighting it's best to be there. Each fight is described in detail (no graphical representation), and your guy's mug in the ring appears top of screen. As he takes more and more of a bashing the lace becomes marked. At the end of the current round you're allowed 30 seconds to attend to the boxer (water bottle, attend to cuts, bruises etc) and change his fighting tactics. If he wins his position in the federations, books change and title fights are possible, all the way up to a world title fight.
I have to admit this is the first boxing management gains I've ever seen, it follows the same sort of format as footy management games, but for some reason I found this rather more playable.
MARK ... 74%
'Yeh, it's Boxing Manager, the game from the same people who brought you the award winning Tracksuit Manager. In Boxing, the programmers have tried to brighten things up a little by adding a few graphics and giving the text a very CodeMasters feel to the expanded characters. Why do things like that when they could allow you to see the fights instead of having to watch the computer telling you what's happened. If I wanted to just have the commentary I'd put the radio on!'
NICK ... 45%
A specialist entertainment well executed for a discerning minority.