Even the best footballers in the world need to be placed in an appropriate system if they are to thrive. Put Lionel Messi at defensive midfield in a hard working long ball team and you'd undoubtedly still experience moments of supreme quality, but you wouldn't get the best out of him. That's an appropriate analogy for Football Manager Touch 2018 on Nintendo Switch. It's a brilliant game, and arguably the best football management sim experience on console, but it doesn't quite feel at home on Nintendo's hybrid system.
Even if you're a faithful disciple of all things Nintendo, there's a fair chance you've heard of Football Manager - perhaps under its earlier Championship Manager guise. This is the long-running family of football management simulators that has been responsible for countless wrecked marriages, such is its engrossing pull. It's also the series that has been used by professional football managers to scout new playing talent, such is its unparalleled level of detail and accuracy.
The 'Touch' genus of this family appeared fairly recently in response to demand for a streamlined mode that got back to the brand's core essentials. At around the same time, it answered the call for a mobile version with the same inherent depth as the PC original. Football Manager Touch 2018 on Switch, then, is the same game you'll find on iOS and Android tablets, as well as the simplified PC mode. You start each game by creating a manager, picking a real team from one of many worldwide leagues, and jumping straight into preparation for the current 2017/2018 season.
You can choose to get as hands-on with your squad as you'd like. For many casual football fans, the experience will consist of jumping from match to match with repeated presses of the 'ZR' button. In between games, you'll assign your favourite players to their real-life positions in the Tactics menu, perhaps giving them specific roles so as to maximise their productivity. You might even go scouring the game's formidably accurate database of real players, seeking to buy that Spanish superstar that gave your real life team the runaround in a recent match. Even then, you can leave it to your scouting team to dig up talent that fits your club's profile and budget. Similarly, your assistant manager and coaching team will take care of training by default.
Footy fanatics can get way more involved in every aspect, though. When it comes to match day, you can delve deeper into your team's tactical approach, setting its tempo, width, height, rigidity and more. You can have your winger dovetail with your striker to bamboozle a static defence, or have your keeper take part in the build-up like an outfield player. You can even extend the 3D highlights package that represents each match so that you're watching more of the game, or even watch the whole shebang.
In between matches, there's even more to do. Whole evenings can be spent refining your player search parameters, sending out scouts to produce detailed reports on them. You can take direct control of training to turn your raw winger into a 40-goal-a-season striker. It's also possible to buy a star player who's worth way more than your entire season's budget by structuring the payments and incentives just so.
Suffice to say, we've barely scratched the surface of the Football Manager Touch 2018 experience. This is a quite outstanding game that can suck as many hours of your life as the most engrossing RPG. It doesn't shine on Switch, though. Playing on your TV with a controller is a complete mess, because this is a game that was designed to be played with a mouse or a finger. Dragging a cursor around with the left Joy-Con stick feels like something from the '90s.
Portable mode is the best way to play FMT 2018, because you can interact directly with the game's countless links and screen prompts, and drag and drop players just like in the tablet versions. But it's all too cramped. There's a simple reason you can't play Football Manager Touch 2018 on your iPhone or Android phone: because even a 6-inch display isn't sufficient to cram in what is essentially a jazzed up spreadsheet. It shouldn't surprise you to learn that the Switch's 6.2-inch 720p display isn't up to the job either.
The game's text and virtual buttons are just too small here, and that means that it's often easy to miss them or activate another screen element altogether. Despite this shrinkage factor, Sports Interactive was unable to fit everything onto the Switch's screen. Essential side-menus have been shuttled away behind the 'L' and 'R' buttons, while the useful Back prompt is assigned to 'ZR'. As a result, playing FMT 2018 in the optimal manner entails some awkward hand gymnastics.
Those menus are clunky to navigate too. Can you remember the last UI that made you bring up an overlay menu, select an option, then manually close the overlay menu rather than jumping straight to your selection? Even in the simpler confines of the match engine, the commentary bar is cut off entirely in handheld mode. This means that you're left watching a static screen of information and a 'waiting for next highlight' message. Topping off the sensation of a sub-optimal port is the lack of Cross-Sync support, so you can't continue your game on PC.
All in all, it's brilliant that you can now play this wonderful game on Nintendo Switch. If you have access to a halfway decent tablet or laptop, however, there are better ways to get your portable Football Manager Touch 2018 kicks.
Football Manager Touch 2018 is a mostly feature-complete version of the best football management game in the business. For Switch-owning football fanatics, it's perilously close to a must-buy. Yet this is also a deeply imperfect and ill-fitting port that seems to have been crowbarred into Nintendo's platform.
Been waiting for this review - 8 out of 10 - perfect - I’m in -
“ill fitting port that’s deeply imperfect”
£29.99 - it needs to feel good - a game like this shouldn’t feel “ill fitting” as its all about the interface and the feeling of the game that sucks you in.
Cheers for info.
The review reads like a 6...yet it’s an 8? The score and read don’t match up. Based on the read, I will pass.
It really is a game that plays well with a mouse. As much as i love the series i don't think I'll be going for this.
Good review though.
Love FM! But PC version is waaayyyyy better. I duno if I wanna kill my eyes on lil switch screen, if it is on sale, sure.
The Game is awesome. I carry my switch around with me daily. Tablet is always at home so switch version always gonna be the one I buy.
Bought it yesterday and I'm addicted. The touch controls take a bit of getting used to and I keep hitting the wrong icon with my Shrek fingers but that hasn't detracted from the fun I'm having.
It's not perfect but it's a great game for football addicts and stat geeks.
@Stocksy I bought it yesterday and love it. The UI is a bit cluttered and sometimes it's a pain to hit the right button, but it's still a very good game if you love football.
I`ve always played FM, so sometimes I do miss a few things, but this version is very good as well.
If you`re on the fence, pick it up
I love simulation games, but I'm not a sports fan in any way.
From the couple of hours I've played so far ,I personally didn't have any issues with it. Once you figure out where everything is and how to combine using the touchscreen with a few buttons it really is pretty straightforward. Yes it could have done with a little more optimising for the Switch but for a first entry they've done a commendable job. Anyone on the fence,read some other reviews and opinions as I personally don't agree with a lot of this reviews criticism.
What if you detest football, but love sim games 🤔 So on the fence here...
Buying this asap
Bit surprised by this review. Works really well IMHO.
Quite possibly the worst review ever! It moans about how the game is not able to be played on a TV 'complete mess' it complains about how you can't use the Hud because the interactive icons are to small.
Yet it gets a near perfect score 80% ???
This game ruins marriages.
Addictive as hell
Hopefully this version sells enough that it warrants them bringing 19 to the switch. The high price for a game that is out of date in a couple of months was a pretty silly move.
@electrolite77 yeah it works great. Nobody should be worried about it when playing
This game seems a lot like Farming Simulator to me, the kind of game that has a very dedicated cult like fanbase that I simply don't understand the appeal of.
@Kiz3000 considering it shot straight to number 1 on eshop within first week of release in the UK, top 5 Italy, top 10 in Spain I would say SI will be pretty happy right now.
The game has had no promotion and is doing well on switch
I think the words "ill-fitting port" are a bit strong. I get the critisism about the clunky UI, but give it a few hours and you will soon learn where things are.
This game is addictive as hell and once hooked it will keep pulling you back in for more. As a first time football manager player my advise to anyone playing this for the first time be patient and give it time.
I'll stick with Nintendo Pocket Football Club in 3DS. That's all I need.
@Lord Since when has 80% been ''near perfect'' ?
Well, I think Madden is personally way better, [removed]
@JayJ at least that was good
Interesting 🤔the way it has been advertised it was optimised for switch to perfection
@Windows10Lover @Narbiaman5i5 What on earth has Madden ,a Grid Iron sports simulation got to do with a football management simulation? What a bizarre comment to make! Even more bizarre is that you feel the need to make a 2nd account to make that point.
Should've been 4/10. better then note tho
Interesting the review says its ill fitted for the Switch, particularly using a controller? That’s exactly where I’m having the most enjoyment!
I also have this on an iPad Pro and whilst it runs a bit smoother overall on that platform, being limited to touch screen is really awkward for FM18 due to the number of tiny arrows and sliders etc.
Using the controller feels just right. There is a mouse cursor if you need it, or you can use the well thought out hot keys and dpad to get around. Once you get used to it you can really fly.
Making subs is a breeze on the Switch compared to how fiddly and annoying it is on touch screen.
Superb game, easy 9/10 for me.
I agree with @pbb76. Superb game, controls are well thought out. Perfect fit for switch. Definitely 9/10
The ignore button is made for people like you. Your comments are a waste of time.
Score is right for me. The interface is fine it’s just the database size that disappoints for me.
The price is way too high for a digital-only release.
I would happily have paid a little more for a retail release though.
However, I can understand that it is perhaps a little too late in the year for SEGA to be investing in a retail release of the 2018 edition. I hope they will issue a hard copy of 2019 though.
I got this game after talking with @NaviAndMii in the forums and man am I happy I picked it up because it is an amazing game! I love strategy games, but am at best a causal soccer fan. This game started out a little overwhelming because I had no idea what position players should even be placed in or how to check ratings. I watched one 10min YouTube video and have been hooked since. The game is so deep and I feel like my strategy has a tangible affect on the match rather than it being about just having the best players. I also haven’t had any trouble with the controls once I got used to where things were located in the menus. Anyone who is a soccer fan should pick this up, but so should fans of strategy games. I also think the switch is a great platform for the game. Being able to switch from tv to portable feels so great for this kind of game. This game feels like comfort food in that you can have as deep or as causal of an experience as you want and it really moves at whatever pace the player wants to interact with it at.
Yeah, these UI problems do worry me. I think I'll end up waiting for a price drop.
EDIT: On the other hand, the comments have gotten me on the verge of a buy again. Huh. I suppose we'll see what happens come the weekend.
That's where I'm at. I'm not the biggest soccer/football fan but I do love sim games. So I am very tempted to give it a try.
Why didn't they include Joy-Con motion control for TV-Mode, so you could move the cursor similar to a mouse? 🤔
What a pathetic little individual you are.
Account created at 8.33pm today and you just spew bile over a number of topics. Get a life.
Not huge on soccer but I enjoy sim games like this. I'd be willing to give it a shot at a lower price point but it's a bit too expensive for me at the current price with no physical version.
I love this game on the ps vita. Even with Small screen, small text. But my season crashed at season 7.
Brought it on the switch day one. Still small screen, small text but not at bad. I am taking my time remembering how to play. There no good manuals for beginners(unless someone has a good link). So it takes awhile. But once I work it out again, I know I will be addicted again.
Well. Judging by the work of @Windows10Lover, @Narbiaman5i5, @FinalFrog and @TheMONADO36 Football Manager really brings the bile-spewing corners of the NL community bubbling to the surface. No need to be upset now, just because it's the world's game doesn't mean it's for everyone.
@electrolite77 You can't have proper football without a few hooligans 🙃
What the Switch needs is more anime style JRPG’s and platformers, that’s what the core Nintendo audience wants at the end of the day and that’s what it should be delivering. I want the switch to be the best selling console of all time but it won’t ever achieve that if people concentrate on ‘games’ like this. Sorry if that’s bile to you but I just want the best for Nintendo.
I totally agree with this review.
While the game in itself is awesome, playing it on the Switch is just frustrating. Tbh I don't get why the didn't implement motion controls to move the cursor.
The only thing this game did for me is make me play FM18 more on my PC again.
I'd prefer to play it on my touchscreen Laptop over playing it on the Switch anytime.
@pbb76 you can use a mouse docked too
It is bile because it's utterly stupid. For a Console to succeed it needs to appeal to as many people as possible rather than just catering for what you want or think the 'core audience' wants. For example, FIFA is the world's biggest selling video game. Of course they want that on Switch, and more quickly than any Sims of minor sports.
Even more stupid is you seem to think the release of this game on Switch has a bearing on the release of JRPGs or simulators of less popular American sports. This is by a company called Sports Interactive. Madden is by EA. Neither game is made by Nintendo. This game will not affect the flow of JRPGs or anime platformers or other sports sims made by other companies.
If you were just posting attention seeking nonsense I apologise to myself for eating my time. If you were actually serious I hope I've helped, as you need it.
Incase anyone is wondering you can use a USB mouse when docked and it works fine.@blockfight @puppytoucher @monkeyofthefunk
@Narbiaman5i5 Please read the Community Rules. Do not post unless you have something useful to say. Trolling isn't allowed either.
@TheMONADO36 I think I've warned you before.. Anyway, please don't troll the comment section.
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