Facebook’s biggest football management sim comes to handheld.
Top Eleven is a bit like owning a pet, there’s reward in it for sure, but without your constant attention things can quickly go a bit pear-shaped. And that’s where the possible problem lies. Playing on iOS you can choose either iPhone or iPad simultaneously, which is helpful yet annoying. Probably less annoying if you have no friends, but most people have friends in one way or another. So when you’re trying to negotiate through an auction for a player in real-time (imagine a last minute eBay scramble) and your WhatsApp group message is pinging off relentlessly it can be quite the inconvenience. But this isn’t a new problem that’s exclusive to Top Eleven so maybe you’re used to it by now, but on a small screen it makes everything needlessly difficult.
Like most things though, after a while you just become used to the little annoyances, A few days into testing the game and I’d all but forgotten about some of the imperfections (this could be because I was winning most games three or four nil). There is an instant pick-up and play feel to Top Eleven, navigating your way through the menus is easy, but as you dig deeper into the plethora of features it becomes much more rewarding. For example, if your team aren’t performing very well, build yourself a better training pitch. Alternatively, if you are playing great football but not making enough dollar to pay your best players? Construct a new grand stand and increase ticket prices.
Other exciting news is that the game has been developed using the Unity3D game engine. The reality however is a bit underwhelming, there are almost no 3D elements to this game, except the stadium overview, which if you haven’t yet built a nice attractive coliseum is a bit like looking at a 3D rendition of you school’s playing field. There is no option to watch footage of your games back and this would have been a welcome feature to the mobile and tablet version of the game that the Facebook platform does not have. Ah well, there’s always next year…
But down to the actual management aspect of the game. Obviously this is no Football Manager, so if that’s what you were hoping for, just buy FM2015. But here you can still buy and sell players. Youth members will come into the squad periodically over time, all the real motions of everyday football business are here. As for buying resources for your club, these will cost you tokens, you have a set amount of these to start with, and you can make new tokens through TV sponsorships and the like. Of course you can just buy stacks of tokens using real-life money if you like, a reminder that no mobile game is exclusively free, but hey we’ve all got to make a living.
When kick-off time comes around you can make in-game decisions and substitutions which is very welcome if you’re 2-0 down at half time, however league games have a tendency to take place well after midnight when normal people are sleeping so this may be something of a luxury. Fatigue is also an issue, and any veteran FIFA player knows how much of a proverbial two-footed tackle to the face that can be. The same applies here.
If you are looking for a football management sim and most importantly don’t want to spend any money then this really can’t be faulted. It can be fun and is a flawless time killer but if you don’t give it the time it deserves your team are likely to find themselves in the relegation zone and losing matches day-in day-out (and no-one likes losing).
Top Eleven 2015 is out now on Android, iOS and Facebook.
Developer: Nordeus Games for more info visit http://www.topeleven.com