The chanting of the crowd, a bubbling excitement that can be felt in the air, and a desire to win the big ones. This is what motivates the coaches, managers, players and ultimately the spectators involved in football. To drive around with too many passengers all brandishing the team flags after that big win is what it is all about. Behind the glamour, money and dreamlike lifestyles of the players at the top there is always someone working. Someone laying out the tactics, adjusting drilling routines, and making sure the team functions as well as possible. That someone is you, the manager, who has to take your team to whatever goals you work out with the board. Your job is always on the line, and if you make it you will become a star, and if you don’t you will be demoted to keeping stock of team socks.
Championship Manager 2011 is the most full featured football manager game for the iPhone. The sleek interface with an plethora of menu options hide a lot of features that you usually get in the PC versions of football manager games. You get to control almost all aspects of the managerial job. Scouting, hiring, selling, and other aspects of squad management are all there. The hub of the game is your email inbox, and quite frankly the game feels a lot like work. You have to go through the inbox to progress, and there is no way to just ignore everything as a lot of us do in our work emails from rabid coworkers. The tutorials in the game have been integrated in the inbox, and you get reminders to follow up on them.
Talking to the media is a fun aspect of the game where you get answers about different topics concerning your team. Depending on your answers you popularity with fans, press, players and the board goes up and down. Keeping people happy is a big part of the game, and you always get numbers on the different categories.
All aspects of the graphics are polished. High resolution menus, and a good representation of the pitch during matches are excellent. The matches are kind of slow to follow, but on the other hand you get so many stats that you can actually make decisions to change the team strategies. Overall the game feels believable, and results are kept within a realistic range. Perhaps too few goals scored, and too many yellow cards.
There is no sound in the game, at all. You can play your own music if running when you start the game. I can live without sound, but I find it strange considering how well designed the UI and menus are.
Championship Manager 2011 is the most full featured manager game, but sadly it comes at a cost. The game is slow to load, and plays rather slowly as well. For a quick break I rather play Football Manager Handheld 2010 from Sega. If on the other hand you want all the features there is only one choice, and that is Championship Manager 2011.
The game comes with OpenFeint integration for achievements(no less than 94 of them), forums, and leaderboards for top managers in the different leagues. This gives the game almost limitless gamelife to those interested in playing the most detailed manager game available.
I found the slow pace, and extended loading times even on my iPhone 4 to diminish the fun factor of the game considerably. If you are an avid manager fan there is no reason not to get this game though. For our beloved iDevices this is the most detailed footie manager game available, and at $6.99 it is a bargain.
Championship Manager 2011 $6.99
Seller: Eidos Interactive Ltd
Tested on an iPhone 4.