Management/Simulation Game of the Year 2016: Football Manager Mobile 201727 Dec 2016 3
Plenty of franchises get lambasted for doing the same thing every year, although one could argue that’s mainly because the developer/publisher are trying to pretend that each iteration is a fresh, new experience when really they're just re-hashing the same formula.
When it comes to something like Football Manager, at least everything is a bit more out in the open. There’s less expectation with regards to how ‘new’ each game will be, although the pressure is no less to deliver a worthwhile follow-up. Get it wrong, and you’ve wasted a year of development time and potentially hurt the credibility of your franchise, which can have a knock on effect for future iterations.
Football Manager Mobile 2017 had its work cut out for it – its predecessor, FMM16, got a lot of praise for its innovation and design, so capitalising on that for the 2017 edition was going to be no easy feat. It passed with flying colours however, as we mentions in our review. A new challenge mode adds a fresh twist on the core experience, while modest difficulty increases and an improved 'Staff' system made the main gameplay more rewarding.
We asked Mark to come back and offer some words on Football Manager’s Award:
Yes, it is a lot like Football Manager Mobile 2016, but remember that last year's iteration was the best handheld version of Sports Interactive's management sim to date. Seeing as this year's instalment only goes to expand on what has come before, it does not come as much surprise that Football Manager Touch 2017 won management/sim game of the year. Art imitates life with the introduction of brexit and the headaches that ensue with trying to buy that Under 18 from Belgium, only to have his work visa fall through... It’s kind of making me look forward to seeing that play out in real life.
A well-deserved victory and we look forward to seeing what 2018 will bring to the Football Manager franchise.
Runner-Up: The Westport Independent
While discussing our GOTY nominations and awards, Tof and Nick were talking about how if The Westport Independent had been released after Trump won the election, it might have made more of an impact.
As it was, this cynical yet fascinating Newspaper sim released without much fanfare back in February. As Tof wrote in xes review:
The Westport Independent is a contemplative game, and while it's mechanics are enjoyable, they're not evergreen. That's okay, because in the end, The Westport Independent uses it's political-sim and business-sim elements to leverage its story. If you're excited about getting into the role of newspaper editor and seeing what impact you can have, what impact you want to have in a time of unrest and tightening restrictions on expression, you need to play The Westport Independent.
Regardless of timing, this was an interesting game in a similar vein to Papers, Please and very deserving of the runner-up spot.
Congratulations to Sports Interactive and Coffee Stain Studios for their awards. Stay tuned for more GOTY coverage of the coming week.
To keep track of all the winners and runner-ups during the 2016 Awards, please see the 2016 Awards Index Page.