I’m no football fan (that’s soccer fan for you on the other side of the pond), but I remember when I was a kid. As most kids, I wanted to play football with my friends, so I got dad to sign me up at the local team, just to quickly realize I’m not the sports kind. However, I stuck by it for 5 years (which for a kid that started at the age of 7 is a long time) before I finally quit. This was enough for me to learn the rules and some neat tactics at least, so when dad got a new game for our old computer, Football Manager, I found many hours of fun there.
Unlike most other sports games, this didn’t let you control the players on the field, it didn’t even let you see the match, everything was relayed to you in the form of graphs and text, just like on most modern betting sites today. Instead, you were the one that took care of the team behind the scenes. You recruited new players, you set up matches, you decided who to take in when someone got injured and set up predetermined switches, you set up the tactics for each game and you had newspapers with information on your next opponent and had to set up these tactics to counter the opposing teams strengths and weaknesses.
I saw this little game ad on Facebook for a game called Top Eleven, the ad said “If you liked Football Manager, you’ll love this” and it didn’t lie.
Top Eleven is an enhanced version of the old Football Manager games, with a lot more advanced features, yet easier to use interface and comes with guides for every step of the way… and it’s FREE.
When you start the game, you first get to choose your team name, then a “formal signing” of the “contract” (this is purely RP, and you’ll see this a lot in this game) by choosing your own name. After that, you’re taken to the tutorial, where you get to set up your team colors, emblem and the home shirts without any cost from your budget.
From there you’re free to do whatever you want with your team. You’re given a budget and once in a while you’re given a tip about what you can do next, such as sign TV deals, set prices for different type of matches in your home arena, set up your away shirts or change your formations and the titular Top Eleven.
Top Eleven is the starting eleven players on the field. These are usually your teams top players and the ones you want to keep in peak condition, without neglecting any of your backup players. Managing your top eleven can be tricky, since you don’t want your star players to be too tired or risk getting injured before a top game, but you also don’t want them to sit on the bench too much either.
A new thing in Top Eleven compared to Football Manager is that you can now train your team and each player has a fatigue bar. Training comes in three intensities, each gives a certain level of performance, but takes a certain level of fatigue. You need to find a good balance between condition and fatigue to get top performance in your matches.
The game has two kinds of currencies. The standard coins that you can earn through contracts and winning games can be used to pay your players, upgrade your arena and such things. The T-Coins is the one that can cost “real” money, but you can also earn these through different contracts. Most of the T-Coin contracts requires you to perform certain tasks, such as log in daily, while others give you a smaller amount, but doesn’t require you to do anything.
The matches are played automatically and you don’t need to do anything special to play the matches. When the time comes, the calendar will update automatically with the result, so the game is really played between the matches. You have daily matchups against the computer, but you can also schedule friendly matches against other players, if you feel up for that challenge.
As with most Facebook games, there is a lot of waiting involved, but whether your a football fan or just like the tactical or economical sides of owning a team, this game will give you a lot of pleasure.