Gamescom '11: Hands-on with FIFA 12's Manager Mode on iPhone

Still kickin' it

Gamescom '11: Hands-on with FIFA 12's Manager Mode on iPhone
| FIFA 12

We've already talked about some of the new features that will be appearing on FIFA 12 for iPhone, so I'm not going to dwell too much on the new control scheme or the commentary in this preview.

What I will talk about is possibly the biggest new addition to the game - Manager Mode.

Man to man

Manager mode puts you in the shoes of the gaffer - picking your team and making sure everyone performs day in, day out.

It's possibly the most popular mode in the home console version of the game, as it lets fans live out their dreams of taking Fabregas to Barcelona or hammering Swansea with a ridiculously expensive signing. No, wait.

Corners have been cut here and there to fit the mode into the smaller frame of iOS, but not as much as you might think.

The boy done good (+1)

For instance, transfer deals and sponsorship management is all present, as is the involving stats system that sees players grow better (or worse) after every game.

There's even some rudimentary staff and stadium-management thrown in for good measure, although its ten-star upgrade system isn't going to be challenging Football Manager any time soon in terms of pure management.

While the game does naturally encourage you to get stuck in with each game, there's always the option of simulating games should you need a break from the action.

Bench warmer

Away from the pitch, there's a wide variety of (bizarrely) unlockable tactical options to choose from, with roles such as playing a man in the hole only unlocking after being 'bought' (using the universal currency).

While it's a bit weird to this old 4-4-2 sheepskin coat-wearing boss to have to unlock knowledge with cash, the game's other newfangled elements are excellent.

For instance, there's the replay system, which allows you to create movies and share them on YouTube instantly from inside the app.

Or there are the new dead-ball controls, which you can now perform with a Flick Kick Football-esque flick of the finger (complete with curl).

You're limited by your kickers' stats, though, so you'll have to spend a few games training them using the spruced up UI if you want to get close to scoring.

We'll find out if the rest of FIFA 12 can sneak it around the post and into the iPhone goal later in the season.

Will Wilson
Will Wilson
Will's obsession with gaming started off with sketching Laser Squad levels on pads of paper, but recently grew into violently shouting "Tango Down!" at random strangers on the street. He now directs that positive energy into his writing (due in no small part to a binding court order).