Football Manager Touch 18 – Nintendo Switch Review
If there is one series that I buy every year and without fail it is the Football Manager series. Playing since the game’s introduction in 2005 and even well before then when it was previously known as Championship Manager, this is one of my favourite franchises and genres in Football Management.
We’ve all been there when watching our favourite teams play, shouting from the stands or sofa at home that the substitution being made is ridiculous, why has he gone with that formation?… Well, we know better than the manager don’t we? Now we can prove it on Nintendo Switch with the sneaky introduction of Football Managers touch version.
Football Manager Touch 18 isn’t the full PC version of the game, there are certain features from the PC version removed such as team talks and full-on press conferences, and other features like training have been watered down a bit. It’s not to the extent of the mobile version, and definitely has more in-depth features to it such as setting your tactics, team instructions, how you want your team to play etc and this is the main focus of the Touch version, concentrating on your tactics, checking it’s intensity, high-intensity tactic means a team is going to have a lot of stamina, as my poor Middlesbrough team found out, there not build for a high pace, fast moving game…. Where as on the flip side, my Barcelona team were able to play with a higher tempo, especially with the front three they have, I could allow for a lot more creativity.
I’ve played the game on iPad, and it was pretty impressive, it was also nice to take around with me to play where ever I wanted too. So, the next question to ask is, how does the game feel on Nintendo Switch?
There isn’t much difference between the iPad and Switch versions, the main difference being in how the game is controlled, on iPad it is all touchscreen, but with the Switch they have taken the Joy Cons into consideration, in which they would have to have done, as you wouldn’t be able to play on the Touchscreen if it was in the Dock.
Playing with the Joy cons was OK, there was a cursor on the screen which you moved with the left thumbstick. I did find this to be rather slow and drag across the screen, however, I will add that if it was flying about the screen I don’t think you would have much control over some of the things that you do in the game, especially when it comes to dragging players into position on the Tactics screen, I think it would be a disaster there. The right thumbstick then scrolls through news items, player/staff searches, and other screens so you can get to see all the information that is available as not everything can fit on the screen, so some scrolling is required.
Now, touchscreen controls are where I struggled with the game, with the Switch’s screen been particularly small in comparison to iPads, I found that dragging and dropping players, clicking on positions, amending there strategy to be rather annoying, it was either so small that my massive hands couldn’t press properly or it didn’t register that I had pressed, either that or it clicked on the wrong thing, which was a common occurance on the tactics screen, especially between player name and positioning, they’re so close that I had to use my pinky to try and press, and even then it wasn’t always successful, so I would normall revert to using the joy cons after much frustration.
I love the fact that this game has the 3D match engine, as I hate seeing the 2D one now after years of the PC version having the 3D engine. It gives so much more life to matches, as well as more understanding of what is needed when it comes to the tactics, you can see the players and understand how the game is panning out, and for me, this made it easier when making my tactical decisions throughout a match.
It isn’t without its flaws though, there are times that whats showing within the text commentary at the bottom of the screen isn’t reflected on the pitch. Different players may be shown as having the ball in the commentary to whats on the screen, or a piece of play doesn’t seem to be the same. Example of this, George Friend, my Middlesbrough left-back, and captain, passed the ball back to Darren Randolph, however, George unfortunately scored an own goal, in which from what shows on the engine is that Darren had enough time to get the ball and clear it instead of allowing it to roll softly off the post and into the net. Why? Because the game had already determined that this was going to happen, however, the positioning on the pitch was slightly off which made it look as though this should have been stopped. Which leads to a never-ending string of frustrations and sometimes you just have to take the engine with a pinch of salt.
On the iPad version of the game, it is set out with the menus down the side as normal so you can click on each section whether it’s training, scouting etc, they’re there for the world to see. On the Switch version, this has been slightly changed to save space on the Switch’s screen, mainly for when it’s being used in Handheld mode. The Menus have been changed and can be accessed through the right and left triggers, it took me a while to get used to this, mainly because I’m to used to having the menus there on the side of the screen being just a click away. I will say that it is a good way to get more space out of it and once you get used to where the menus are, how to access them etc it will become second nature.
The game overall is a very good one, it brings the ideal nature of Football Manager to console again and gives Switch fans a Management sim to play on the go. If you’re a fan of football and football management, this is going to be ideal for you, especially being able to play it on the go. Hopefully this will lead to FM Touch 19 being brought to Switch, this would probably be my prefered choice to play the series on now!