While the rest of the world will be playing “Football Manager”, Americans will be playing “Soccer Director”, a game/app that let’s you delve deep into the world of managing a Soccer team (Football Club). Though MLS in the United States is increasing in popularity, this will deal with mostly with 15 International teams and their style of business.
Presentation : A
Graphics / Animation / Sound
Even though this is primarily a managing style of game, there is a great amount of detail presented. There are individual stat charts for players and teams, position maps and training sliding bars, all presented in clear context and easy to manipulate. Every thing has a very clean look for having so much detail.
The developers did a great job of presenting the multitude of different charts in slightly different ways to keep your attention. Although these are slight changes, it would have been easy for them to just keep using the same template, so it is nice they paid attention to the design of different categories.
The sliding animations from different menus or from one chart to the other are smooth and never seem to lag. This aspect is well done.
The games sound effects are light, and mostly you will hear clicks letting you know the app has accepted your input selection, and a few whistles and crowd noises during game simulations. There is no music in the game. I think light background music would definitely add to the experience.
Single Player : B
Game mechanics / Length / difficulty
Soccer Director is a very deep game indeed. The game wants you to completely manage seasons, and not just manage, micro manage. You manage friendly games, injury rosters, player trades, trade offers, and everything else that has to do with the business side. This role, in the United States, is typically known as a GM. Your goal is to have the best team in the best position, meaning lot’s of money, great fan morale and confidence, and most importantly impressing your board. If you don’t impress your board, you’re fired.
I found it hard to figure out how to progress in this game. It was difficult for me to figure out what to do after simulating friendly matches, and the news that popped was informative, but seemed more like filler, as it was a lot to process and decide what decisions to make from it. Though I should note that one would seemingly make better decisions with more play through’s and experience, it is slightly confusing as nothing necessarily prods you in any certain direction. The money being presented in Pound Sterling (UK Currency) does make decisions slightly more difficult as to the worth of a trade when you are only used to dealing with USD. It was hard for me to get a full grasp, and I could only guess based on my total club balance.
The game is basically as long or short as you would like it to be. You can lengthen it by watching the simulations and reading all the news, or adjusting individual stats, or you can sim games and get to the tournaments. It’s all your choice, but the length is appropriate for this type of management game.
The game’s difficulty is really trial and error. You basically can’t go wrong if you play conservatively with your players and money. It is basically a roll of the dice, hoping it does not generate situations not in your favor, such as injuries or losses.
Multiplayer : –
Game mechanics / features / Online features
No multiplayer, only one account player account.
Replay Value : C
Lasting appeal / Bonus Content / DLC
With the continued updates of this season and the next, and the usage of real updated rosters, this game will appeal to the hardcore soccer fans, and possibly keep them interested for a few seasons. Since this is not endorsed by any team club, the lack of team insignia’s and player likenesses will hurt the replay value in the long run, especially if any other managing app gets the rights to the licensing.
For what Soccer Director is, it’s a great game and done very well. This game is marketed for mostly UK Soccer fans, or basically any die-hard fans of soccer that are not in the United States. Someone playing this in the US would be like someone living in Germany managing NFL teams. Though they probably know the basics of the game, it’s not really for them. Same in this situation.
I would highly recommend this game for any DIE-HARD soccer fan, but you should be aware that you won’t be actually playing any type of ‘game’, just managing the game of Soccer.
Overall : B