I play both versions of football manager; PC & Handheld for iPhone. For the loyal PC (and Mac) enthusiasts of the game, the handheld version is a different game. Miles Jacobson, studio director at Sports Interactive Studios has stated that both games are treated as separate titles.
Both are tremendously good ways of passing the time and provide thorough enjoyment when you play. But there are some key differences between the two if you were to have a preference.
PC versionThe PC version has a lot more sophisticated technology; there are a wider range of options to be used during the game, for instance the multiple team system for each club. Having reserve squads and youth squads at teams definitely makes for better playing, as you can pick out some talents at an early age for a relatively cheap price. One example I have come across is Barcelona youth striker Jean Marie Dongou, I bought him very cheap first off for £600,000 as West Ham and he developed into one of my best players.
Handheld versionThis is a different case to the handheld version which has a fixed database of players you can buy, but each season it can generate players onto your game (if you choose this option on the settings) which can make up for this downfall. This limitation is one of the major downfalls of the handheld versions.
Handheld redeeming qualitiesOne of the handheld versions redeeming qualities, hinted at in the name, is the fact that it is handheld and you can take it around with you. Play on the go... bus, train, car journeys, the lot, whenever you have any free time. Just whip out your iPhone/Android/iPod and start playing; which is what I tend to do as I am very bust most of the time and can’t always play on my PC. This is why I have almost 6 seasons of play on my save on my iPhone.
Another quality about the handheld version is the face that its user interface is very simplistic and easy to use for beginners. It has 6 very easy options for people to use, which each also have a range of options to use, and its set out very clearly and does what it says. It also has a refining aspect to player search used to whittle down players to ones which fit your team’s style. There is also custom formations, tactical roles, preferred roles and set pieces.
Keep in mind, however, that the handheld version has a limit of 30 seasons in career mode. It's a rare feat to hit 30 seasons on the desktop version, but it's something for more hardcore fm addicts to consider. Career mode also limits you to twelve playable nations, with the ability to load any four at one time.
To balance that out, the challenge mode is a fun departure from what can become a grind on a longer save. Challenge mode gives you situations to work yourself out of. Battle out of relegation, deal with tons of injuries, win over a new locker room, or go a full season undefeated.
About the Author
Michael runs a Twitter page dedicated to giving football news, and Football Manager tips for both versions of the game. Follow him @backpage.