Codex Gamicus

FIFA Soccer Manager (abbreviated FSM) is a 1997 football managing computer game developed and published by Electronic Arts by their EA Sports label. It was followed by the The FA Premier League Football Manager 99 and the Total Club Manager series. A 97-98 update for the game is freely available from Electronic Arts' FTP.

One of the first games in the genre developed for the Microsoft Windows platform, FIFA Soccer Manager included five playable leagues (England, Scotland, Italy, Germany and France) and all UEFA competitions, including around 7500 players.

Other than the accurate match engine (similar to the 16-bit FIFA games, while much more detailed) which allowed games to be saved and reviewed later, FSM was also known for a complete stadium builder, where combining 300 different pieces (stands and roofs) allowed the creation of stadiums with over 300,000 seats (a figure which is still double the highest stadium capacity in the world). While the overall presentation (which included short FMV clips for some events, such as cup/league wins and being sacked) was praised, the interface relied too much on sub-menus that could not only be reached outside the main section, slowing down gameplay. Also, when the better players retired, they were replaced only by average younger players (rated between 75 and 80), which harmed the possibilities of games over 15 years long, combined with the impossibility of joining a different club.

Bobby Robson (then manager of FC Barcelona in Spain) was on the cover, and was featured a second time in Total Club Manager 2003, by which time Robson was back in England as manager of Newcastle United.

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