Premier Manager

a game by Gremlin, and Realms of Fantasy
Genres: Sports, Strategy/War
Platforms: Sega GenesisGenesis, PC
User Rating: 7.0/10 - 2 votes
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See also: Soccer Games, Manager Games, Premier Manager Games
Premier Manager
Premier Manager
Premier Manager
Premier Manager

Premier Manager is an unashamed attempt to entertain, at the expense of any great depth in the statistical and strategic departments. They admit as much in the introductory section of the manual. This doesn't explain why they have 'The most comprehensive and sophisticated football strategy game ever' written on the box. Perhaps they're just confused.

First impressions aren't favourable; the intro-screen music is a candidate for the worst ever. Combined as it is with a difficult-to-read code wheel with security numbers printed in gloss black on matt black, it seems likely to provoke a massive increase in domestic homicides, as frustrated families batter helpless gamesplayers to death in frantic attempts to silence 'The Tune From Hell'. It's graphically simplistic, and basic tactically as it is visually: players are graded in just four areas-handling, tackling, passing and shooting- and there are only four playing styles-attacking, defensive, passing and long ball. It says much that selecting 'long ball' will usually reap the most success.

Premier Manager is a straight copy of an old Amiga game, and has had no new features added. The depiction of the match itself is woeful. A still picture takes up 75% of the screen, while a slider-bar at the top shows the ball's progress. To the right of this, a small box displays a series of static footballers, obviously produced by the artist whose work has previously been wisely restricted to the windows of betting shops.

Apart from the odd instruction to coaches, you largely play the game in an isolation bubble. Power is a lonely thing. Either that, or power is but a temporary camouflage for the inevitability of mortality - I can never decide. Anyway, other managers supposedly contact you from time to time on the 'phone, but I've been playing for nearly two seasons and nobody's rung me yet.

There's no interaction with players. I was horrified to find a message to the effect that 'Scargill has retired to a country pub'. He was 24 years old, we were five games from the end of the season and eight points clear at the top of the table when he left. Promotion to the football league was very much in our sights. I was sick as a proverbial, I can tell you. I made that lad. He was nothing when he came to this club. And not so much as a word when he left - just an anonymous message on my fax machine... we could have talked. (Sob.)

The financial side is simplistic, too. Your only task is to add advertisements to hoardings whenever they become vacant, and not spend too much. If you do well on both footballing and financial fronts, you might be offered a job with another team at the end of the season.

There's a distinct 'Monopoly Chance Card' element which enlivens your otherwise sedentary managerial existence. So far, my clubhouse has been broken into, a director has left, along with his 18.000 and I've been fined for bringing the game into disrepute. In addition, a large scale fraud has resulted in the loss of 22,000, and the police have informed me that they suspect arson was the cause of last night's fire. I really had no idea life was so action-packed.

Up to four players can play at once, but you have to take it in turns to play. There's nothing worse than having to wait around while an indecisive twerp faffs around pointlessly with a crap team that doesn't have a hope of improving; conversely, there's nothing worse than a loudmouthed cretin sitting behind you whining about how long you're taking when you're making the brilliant tactical changes that will tweak your crack squad into a perfectly balanced side. And watching multiple games on-screen at the same time is a complete nightmare - any time one player stops the game to make a substitution, everyone else's games stop, too.

After all that, you probably think I'm going to say I hated it. Strangely. I didn't. This is obviously down to a serious personality defect on my part, but of the two football games reviewed this month, this one edged it on the fun front, though this is undoubtedly because it's easier to do well. It's tactically and graphically simplistic, and it has a glaring error in the gameplay - you can resubstitute substitutes - but I still grew to love my Conference team, and got genuinely excited during big cup wins against Manchester United and Crystal Palace. Of the two games reviewed in this month's issue. I'd say if you want an in-depth battle with intangibles and slow-paced realism, buy Championship Manager '93. If you want a quick dabble with little or no realism but a fairly high affection factor, buy this. Or better still, wait a while and see if it becomes a budget game, because it's not really worth the full price.

HANGING ON THE TELEPHONE

This telephone, with realistic dialling action, is your contact with the rest of the football world - or rather, a number of pieces of lined paper inscribed in identical handwriting (visual ingenuity isn't the game's strong point). The first time you click on it you'll be faced with the bare minimum of staff to ring. You can add specialist coaches as you see fit.

Club Directors

Only call these chaps if you want to resign, or 'take the Kenny' as it's known in the trade.

Head Team Coach

Ring your head coach to decide what form of 'specialist' training you want your players to undertake - handling, tackling, passing or shooting. You may employ other coaches later - it's best never to ring them, thus instilling in them a healthy fear for their worthless hides.

Physiotherapist

The more you pay your physiotherapist, the more players he (or more likely she, if statistics are anything to go by) can treat at the same time. If the injury is particularly bad, this is where you decide either to send them to Lilleshall, which is very expensive, or have them shot, which isn't.

Scout

The scout looks for players for your team. You can only specify one skill you'd like them to be good at, how good you'd like them to be, and what division he should search for them in. The more you pay him, the more divisions he can search - but you aren't allowed to buy anyone more than one level higher than you. There's no way of storing players you like the look of for future reference, which is a bit crap.

Job Centre

You use the job centre to take on staff -somewhat illogically, you also ring it to raise or lower their wages once they work for you. You can take on specialist coaches and a youth team coach, who you'll use about as often as Victoria Gillick uses contraceptives.

Other Coaches

Other staff are hired through the job centre. Although these scum are not worth talking to, the more you pay them, the quicker your players will improve in the areas in which you wish them to train. They still won't improve quickly enough, making buying better players a preferable option.

Download Premier Manager

Genesis

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
  • Game modes: Single game mode

Player controls:

  • Up, Down, Left, Right - Arrow keys
  • Start - Enter (Pause, Menu select, Skip intro, Inventory)
  • "A" Gamepad button - Ctrl (usually Jump or Change weapon)
  • "B" button - Space (Jump, Fire, Menu select)
  • "C" button - Left Shift (Item select)

Use the F12 key to toggle mouse capture / release when using the mouse as a controller.

PC

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Snapshots and Media

Sega Genesis/Mega Drive Screenshots

PC Screenshots

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