Title Challenge is the latest of football simulation games that I’ve recently been playing, joining the list of Football Manager on PC and Football Chairman and Football Director on the tablet. At £2.99, some people may see this as quite a heavy investment for an app game, but here’s a few reason why I think that price is justified.
The biggest reason is just how professional this game looks and feels, despite not having real player names. The design is really, really nice – it just looks like it could be a port from a PC game, despite this being Version 1 of the game, with my thoughts particularly on the great scoreboard element of the game, that really reminds me of when television broadcasters zoom over to the LED scoreboards. The inclusion of the quotes after each game is a great touch – reading small pieces of wisdom or banter or wit from great managers and players alike, giving a snapshot of all the great different personalities that the games had within it.
The engine is really smooth too, making for a very fast, fluid transition throughout each game and each time the app is loaded, meaning it’s not a chore to play through a season. The fluidity of a game is such a huge factor for me when it comes to app games, but this went beyond the expectations I had. The layout of Title Challenge is aided by this engine, as the transition and switching between tiers of tables or goalscorers etc is instant, which is what the sidebar and tabs really needed. I mentioned that each game progresses along nicely, however, there’s no option to change the speed at which the match is played at – luckily it’s not too much of an issue as it doesn’t drag. Title Challenge incorporates using a week system instead of a particular date, handy when managing in foreign league systems that you don’t know the run points of.
The matches within Title Challenge often play out much closer than you hope for; 1-0 seems to be the top occuring result for me, which at least is more realistic than the 6-4 games I’d often end up playing on Football Manager! This does mean though, that I’ve not yet had a player score a hat-trick (seeing as I played most of my time so far as West Ham, perhaps not a huge surprise!), so you can guess they’re never amongst the front runners for the Top Goalscorer trophy. However, I haven’t bought a 5 star striker yet, owing to a mix of none being that interested in joining my club but also partially down to me not yet fully upgrading the scouting option, which is accompanied by a Stadium and Training upgrade. As you can guess, these increase in price the higher the rank is, but I’ve now stagnated at around rank 5 for all three options due to lacking that much money after I’ve revamped my squad a little bit after each season! After putting a bit more time in my Bayern Munich save, it turns out that West Ham were at fault for the low scoring games!
There’s a few things that do need changing, but that’s mostly down to this being V1.0 of Title Challenge. One thing that was noticeably absent for me was not having youth; which could have played a similar role in the game as the other upgrade options, especially when I’m one who loves bringing through youth players (as you may have noticed through my Football Manager Youth article!). It’s not a deal-breaker by any means for me though, as I still really enjoyed playing through a game and perhaps by adding that youth element the game wouldn’t be as fluid and lineal (which I think helps Title Challenge immensely). The other big thing for me is the lack of cup/European competitions at the moment, perhaps down to the use of weeks instead of particular dates? I’m not 100% sure.
All in all, Title Challenge, the new addition to the sports simulation family, is a worthwhile purchase, especially for anyone with some store credit left over from the Christmas period!