[Review] Football Manager 2020 Touch – Nintendo Switch

Written by Derek Wright
  • Developer: Sports Interactive Limited
  • Publisher: SEGA
  • Release Date: 10/12/2019
  • Price: $39.99 / £29.99
  • Review code provided by SEGA

Backseat Driver

The simulation genre has always seemed like an unsurmountable wall. Millions of consumers enjoy taking control of businesses, theme parks, towns and sports teams playing as a manager, boss or even higher power. I have dabbled in some of these games, including the Sims and Rollercoaster Tycoon, but neither of these experiences could prepare me for the behemoth that Sports Interactive Limited has prepared for us.

Football Manager 2020 Touch is a massive game and after just a few moments with the title, it was easy to see that love and care was put into every detail. For someone such as myself, it was an incredibly daunting task. I have an extremely limited knowledge of football (soccer) and jumping headfirst into this sports sim proved just how little I really knew. FM 2020 did a great job of trying to ease the player into its many systems, but was it enough to turn me into a diehard? Let’s hit the field and see what turns up!

Get Your Kicks

For FM 2020, I knew a majority of my time would be spent in menus, but I was utterly overwhelmed by the control that was given to me as I went about managing my team in the K League. I love Asian culture, so the Korean League was the obvious choice. For the first few minutes, I created an avatar to be the perfect manager. There was a rather large amount of customization and I was very pleasantly surprised. After this, I was able to choose my club, Jeju United and I was introduced to the most important tool in this game, my inbox.

You will receive countless emails from the support team while playing. These other coaches will take time to explain all the intricate menus and systems. After the explanation, they will offer the ability to make these choices in your stead or give you the full reigns. Again, since I know next to nothing about soccer training, I opted to have my assistant coaches make a large portion of the decisions. Just like in real life, I felt having a good support system will lead to victory. After all the training and scouting finally comes the game day.

Matches can be displayed in full, highlights only and instant decisions. The first two options allow for more control of the play by play actions, such as substitutions, changing formation and changing the style of play for your club. The later option does a quick simulation with all your initial settings and letting your assistant coaches control the game. After trying all 3 options I found that my win/loss ratio was better when I was not involved in the coaching progress, which was kind of a downer.

Regardless of this, I wish I would have spent more time reading up on the formations and the styles of play and how they affect your team. It resulted in me having a semi solid start for a few months and then quickly going from 2nd to 11th place in my league. After countless losses, I was abruptly fired from my club and spent the next year (in game) trying to find a new position. I found this as a truly interesting design choice, that instead of getting a game over, the world keeps moving without you. This felt deeply profound, showing that this game does not revolve around the player.

Bend it Like Beckham

The main game, which again involves mostly menus were very clean. There were a few times the menus seemed a bit daunting to get around. After a few hours, I had a better time navigating them. The characters themselves did not fair as well. The graphics seemed low quality like a mid-generation PS2 or Gamecube game. It was much more noticeable when docked. The action looked a bit better in handheld, but it was still a bit of a letdown. Regardless of how they looked, the models did not slow down which is more important in this case.

One of my biggest complaints for this title is the complete lack of music. There is no music in the menus, and this completely took me aback. As a self-styled video game music aficionado, I was saddened by this design choice. Still, the sound of the games felt spot on. You could hear the roar of the crowd, the thwack of the ball and the excitement/disappointment of scoring a goal.

Final Thoughts

Football Manager 2020 proved itself to be a bit of a conundrum for me. I found that it was quite extensive in the amount of content and options available. For true football fanatics, this game could be played near endlessly. Yet, for someone like myself, its not the easiest game to recommend if you are not a soccer fan. Needless to say, if you are into soccer and want to control every aspect from the day to day interactions with your players all the way to game day, there is no better experience available on the Nintendo Switch.

Pros

  • Control Every Aspect of Your Club
  • Detailed Tutorial System
  • Infinitely Replayable

Cons

  • Lack of In-Game Music
  • Overwhelming to Non-Experienced Players
  • Subpar Graphics

Verdict

Football Manager 2020 is a content rich sports simulation that can be overwhelming to casual fans, but it is an all-you-can-eat buffet for true football fans.

3.5/5

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