To complement its range of excellent Electronic Arts and Microprose releases, Guildhall Software has bought up a few new titles from smaller companies such as Binary Emotions and Manyk. Euro League Manager is the latest of these brand new Amiga titles. With Championship Manager 2 seemingly festering away in some dank dungeon of Eidos Interactive, Euro League Manager has found itself without much competition. Which is pretty fortunate as Manyk's management sim is something of a curates egg.
Euro League Manager does have its good points; as the name suggests it focuses on the football teams of three European countries rather than the usual one. In addition to this you can play in a fantasy league and use scouts to find cheap but talented players.
The fact that each league is different does add some variety to the game. Those well versed in the ways of football will know that each league in which you manage a team varies greatly from the others. Your opponents are different and the strategies and tactics that you might have relied on in one league will no longer be quite as successful.
Another strength of the game are the little innovations that Manyk has thrown in. As far as I know there aren't that many other games that allow you to use a talent scout to find new players. Transfer deals are made more interesting as the game includes a feature that allows players to be transferred using part exchange deals so your wheeling and dealing can be made that bit more efficient and hard nosed.
However, despite these pleasing touches, there are a few things that let Euro League Manager down. Unfortunately, Manyk had a tough time trying to get permission to use the names of players and cup competitions for the game. This means that if you manage your favourite team, the proper player will not be present.
Although on the surface this may be a trivial problem, it does detract from the realism of the game. Manyk has included an editor so you can change the names of players in the various leagues, but to do this for every player in your chosen league would take quite a while.
Another let down is the graphics. Although bright and cheerful, the game just seems to lack the crisp, pleasing graphics of Championship Manager and the preview versions I have seen of Championship Manager 2. Call me a nit picker but the main screen, the inside the manager's office, isn't drawn properly - the perspective is wrong and it looks, well, wonky.
To be fair, Euro League Manager looks like the sort of game that will appeal to footy sim fans and will be a useful addition to any management buff's game collection, especially as you aren't limited to managing an English Premier League Club. If you are less of a pedant than me and can ignore the annoying little drawbacks, you could do worse than giving Euro League Manager a go.