Developer: Beautiful Game Studios
Publisher: Square Enix
Genre: Simulation, Sports
App version: 1.0
I will openly admit to being a little bit dubious when transferring Championship Manager 2011 to my iphone. As much as I love using my mobile for social networking and checking the football scores, games are not something I tend use or download from the App Store.
So when faced with the prospect of tackling Championhip Manager 2011 on my early morning commute to work, I was less enthusiastic than you might have thought.
Don't get me wrong, I love football management games. The feeling of securing a great free transfer or bagging a last minute winner over a local rival is always enjoyable, even if it is only in a virtual world.
But management games are notoriously detailed and often very fiddly. You can spend hours scouring the transfer market for the next Lionel Messi and just as long trying out tactics and formations in pre-season friendlies.
My worry was that the realism of the PC version of the game wouldnt be the same on the iphone, and that if it was then it would be far too awkward and time consuming to make the game any fun.
How wrong I was.
The first thing I noticed when loading CM 2011 for the first time was the speed of it. In a flash I was installed as the new manager of Everton, given a list of expectations from the board and informed about my transfer budget (a decent £15 million.)
I immediately set about bringing in some fresh blood, utilising the detailed player search function to narrow down my options. While the number of players available is excellent and the depth of statistics is also impressive, player valuations are often very, very wrong. A prime example of this was when I noticed that Magaye Gueye, a young French winger signed by the Blues for £900k last summer is valued at £8.5m, almost three times as much as Louis Saha.
Despite the glaring errors on the transfer front, the game more than makes up for it in other aspects. It is extremely easy to navigate as well as being very fast, with very little loading time required no matter what you are doing.
Tactics, training, the style of play and set piece takers can all be altered with ease, helping to create an experience as close to the PC version as possible.
Once you've bought your players, chosen your formation and sorted out your tactics you're ready to embark on a gruelling pre-season schedule before the big kick-off.
Games run smoothly, with dots representing players flying around the screen banging in goals and flying into tackles. Unfortunately you'll have to rely on some brief text commentary to keep you updated on the match action, with in-game stats also lacking. This makes substitutions and tactical changes more reliant on guess work than fact, but the game remains very playable despite these issues.
Like any good management game there are press conferences to negotiate, a board to keep happy and a job centre to frequent if you're shown the exit door.
Despite its flaws Championship Manager 2011 is an excellent buy at just £3.99 on the App Store. The depth and detail of the game are both hugely impressive, as is the easy to navigate user interface.
The perfect iphone game for any football fan with some time to kill. Buy it!
Overall rating: 8/10