Football is a hard genre to break into when it comes to gaming. For match simulation, there’s FIFA and PES. For management simulation, there’s Football Manager. All titles are so popular and advanced at this point that attempting to break their dominance is perhaps career suicide. Perhaps that’s why Football Tactic’s approach might just work.
A Different Approach
Rather than attempting to match what’s already there, Football Tactics looks to add something new to football games – turn based strategy. Each half consists of 24 actions, split into turns of three actions for each team (so you’ll get 4 turns per half).
You’ll have complete control over what your players do on the pitch, with the success of actions being based on a little bit of luck, a little bit of your players’ attributes and a little bit of the opponents’ attributes (a la Bloodbowl).
The games feel as short as they sound and the dimensions of the pitches take the game a fair distance away from feeling like a realistic adaptation of the sport – whether that’s a good thing or not will be personal preference. For me, it would benefit from making the pitches a more true-to-life shape and increasing the number of turns per half.
Release Date: 01/06/2015
Available on: Windows, PC Download
It’s not all about what happens on the pitch though. The career mode that you’re thrust into has you taking over a club of your choosing or design and attempting to rescue them from the depths of amateur football, with the ultimate goal being winning the highest league in the country. There’s no real league, team or player names here, and there’s no option to leave the club and take over another. Perhaps disappointing for those looking for a Football Manager alternative, but give it time – Sensible Soccer started out with similar restrictions.
There’s also a little bit of management to do outside of the matches, too. You can buy and sell players, renew contracts, hire backroom staff and improve the club’s facilities – all of which help toward the ultimate goal. Players have levels and gain experience each match. Earning a new level will improve stats based on what training you’ve set them.
Special skills that can be used a limited number of times per game will also add a much needed layer of complexity to a game that would otherwise be a little too simple to be truly entertaining.
Football Tactics is currently in Early Access and is certainly a very promising title. Multiplayer could make or break it, as could a couple of carefully considered tweaks to match length and how it handles possession turnover. Given time, it could become the new Premier Manager!