If you can imagine a game that’s got a bit of Football Manager & FIFA Ultimate Team mixed together then that’s a good way to describe New Star Manager.
Ever since New Star Soccer came out on the iPhone I’ve spent many an hour managing my career from Non-League nobody to European Super Star, now I get to do it with a club!
New Star Manager has made its way over to the Nintendo Switch and it’s an excellent port. For those who don’t know, you become the Manager of New Star FC (or a different name of you prefer). You’ll have a squad of players that you need develop and manage before matchday.
You’ll also be responsible for the running of the club, improving facilities, employing and developing staff, which all helps towards make your team the best it can be.
All of the development of staff and players is managed in a card based system. You’ll earn cards for completing objectives set by your board, answering Interview questions about your club correctly and collecting cards from your staff at the end of a match. They affect every aspect of your team, from contracts to energy levels to improving a players ability.
For example, if you have a youth coach you’ll be able to recruit a new youth player into the first team, or collect a card that will help improve a players ability from your coach. Once you have collected a card you’ll have to wait a certain number of matches before you can use that member of staff again.
NRG cards help with players fitness levels, just like they did in New Star Soccer, every time you place card onto a player to improve their stats their fitness levels drop, just like they do after playing a match. Other cards that come in to play include Team Talks, which can be used to improve players performance before a match and meeting cards which gives you an insight into how a player is feeling, you can then making them happier by addressing the issue.
I struggled for a while to get used to all the sub menus around the game, especially when dealing with player info, but eventually I got the hang of things, the Assistant Manager is always helpful if you aren’t quite sure where to go next.
Improving your facilities also helps the club by bringing in more money, having quicker cool downs for your staff and improving your teams stats. You can also manage the teams sponsorship, and set budgets for the club shop and ticket prices. Set them too high and you’ll upset the fans, or if you set them too low your board will get on your back. It’s fantastic watching your club develop, I was especially pleased at watching my stadium grow in size.
However, if you can improve performances on the pitch you’ll keep everyone happy. New Star Manager plays its matches just like it did in New Star Soccer, but now you have much better visuals and the ability to move the camera around the pitch. This gives you have much greater control on the pitch when the chances arrive. You can make all your standard moves, passing, shooting and running at defenders but you can also set players who are off the ball onto runs and play through balls, if the time is right. If you make a mistake you’ll get one chance per game to retry the move so choose wisely.
As the game progresses you can change formation, style of play and work rate, all while your assistant manager gives you pointers on how to improve things if the match isn’t going your way. The animation for the players are great, it reminds me a little bit of Sensible Soccer, but much better.
Graphics wise, the game looks great, I was really impressed with how good the game looked in 1080p on my TV, it was great being able to sort all my tactics in Handheld mode and the playing the matches while the Switch was in the dock. Whether you used the joy-cons or touchscreen, the game worked seamlessly.
New Star Manager isn’t going to be for everyone, but if you are looking for a game on the go that is easy to dip in and out of you can’t go wrong here, it’s become my football management game that I’ll always go to first because it’s the most fun, I live experimenting on the pitch with different ways of scoring and I’m enjoying building my club from nothing into the next Manchester City, I’ve a big game coming up so I must get on…