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Premier Manager 2004-2005

Time was, back in the mid-90s, the Premier Manager series was actually a contender, providing a jauntier alternative to the hardcore stylings of the all-conquering Championship Manager. Nowadays, all that remains is the name, and a decade of progress has resulted in a game that is actually more primitive than the original. In fact as I write these words, it's running in a window, chugging away on a PC that can do justice to Half-Life 2.

To the untrained mind, it doesn't look too dissimilar to Eidos' forthcoming 'all-new' Championship Manager, with full-length matches played out by amorphous blobs at an isometric angle. The difference here is that it's painfully slow, to the point of being unwatchable for more than a few seconds, and even then only to scoff at its ineptitude. A more rapid option, replete with stats, is available, but it bears such little relation to football that you might as well simply poke yourself in the eyes and watch the colours.


The game is also available on PS2, as hinted at by the appearance of PS2 controls in the interface. More worrying is the fact that it's also on Game Boy Advance, and the PC version would appear to be only moderately more sophisticated. In fact, we've seen more complex mobile phone games.

Premier Manager 2004-2005 is a game of such little substance, you'd be offended if it was free. To actually release it as a commercial product - for 30 quid! - is bordering on criminal.

The verdict