This game is a plucky underdog story in every sense.
When the first New Star Soccer game arrived on the App Store in 2012, it was a life-changing moment for its creator. Simon Read had been releasing his lo-fi football games for years on PC, with mixed success.
New to iPhone and iPad, New Star Soccer was a hit. Its homespun aesthetic, mischievous view of the footballing world and compelling minigame-based matches quickly won millions of fans.
And as if to further that underdog narrative, New Star Soccer’s finest hour saw it scoop the BAFTA for Best Sports Game in 2013 – ahead of EA’s multi-billion dollar FIFA franchise.
And ever since then, creator Read and a newly-expanded New Star Games team has been crafting its magnum opus – a richer, more handsome, more in-depth expansion of that winning New Star Soccer formula.
Years in the making, New Star Manager is that game. You’re put in charge of New Star FC – another plucky underdog – and it’s your job to build the club into your very own footballing empire. You buy and sell players, tinker with tactics, invest in better facilities, handle media interviews and even negotiate with sponsors.
So it’s got all of the stuff that makes the Football Manager games so successful, but you’re still responsible for the action on the pitch, too.
Match commentaries are punctuated with action sequences where you draw lines on the pitch to make players make runs, tap to pass or drag back to dribble and shoot.
So it’d more accurately be described as New Star Player/Manager, really. Whatever you call it, this is among the best football games on the App Store – a fresh take on the world of football that has boatloads of that ‘one more go’ appeal.