We review the insanely addictive football management sim Champ Man 14, out now on iOS and Android for free.
Back in my schooldays (now little more than a faded memory which makes us weep at the merciless and relentlessly swift passage of time, leading us all too quickly to the everlasting embrace of the grave), while our friends were out building tree houses or guzzling White Lightning behind the gym block, I was sat in front of my PC. My skin was so pale I was practically see-through, and my body became so hunched that I practically had to crawl to the kitchen to fix myself a pot noodle and grape juice.
The reason was Champ Manager. This football sim is infamous for its addictive qualities, putting you in charge of any real-life UK team and tasking you with taking them as far as you could, both in the leagues and various cups. And let’s face it, the prospect of seeing Sunderland lift multiple trophies in a season is just too good to pass up.
Champ Man is now a mobile-only game, courtesy of those lovely people at Square Enix, and Champ Man 14 has just come out for iOS and Android devices. That means we’ll now be doing circuits of the Circle Line instead of getting off for work, as we take our mediocre footy teams to the top of the Premier and into Europe.
Champ Man 14 keeps the addictive formula of the original games, allowing you to handpick your local or international team and manage them to greatness, but now you get even more options to fiddle with behind the scenes, both before and during matches.
Now you have even more freedom to train your team exactly how you want, and can even train players to operate in unfamiliar positions. This training costs you coins, which you accrue from playing matches – or of course, by spunking real money on a coin pack. So far it’s looking like the extra purchase is only necessary if you’re impatient to shoot up the leagues, or if you want to manage a Premier League team from the off.
If you want to dive straight in with Arsenal, Man U or any other Premiership team (or, randomly, Wigan or QPR), you’ll need to pay 99p for the privilege. Else you can cut your mangerial teeth with a Championship or lower side.
We won’t even begin to dive into the insane depths of Champ Man’s features, but each season (or tournament) begins with the board awarding you transfer funds and relaying their expectations (basically, do this or you’re sacked, buddy). You’re then free to change up your squad, try different formations and so on. You can pick your set piece takers, issue specific gameplay instructions (long or short passing, light or hard tackling and so on) and then dive into a game with just a tap of a button.
The number of stats you can check out during a match is simply ridiculous, and we’ve only begun to scratch the surface. But safe to say that footy fans will love pouring over the tables and figures on offer.
The fact that Champ Man 14 is free means you shouldn’t be reading this. Just go and download it and prepare to lose half of your goddamn life to this game all over.