Matches themselves are exactly what you've come to expect from the PC game - a large achievement in itself. You can again choose from a number of customisable menus: From slow commentary with full 2D graphics to super-fast, text only descriptions of what's going on.
Once again, the 'sweep' mechanic comes into its own here. You can access real-time possession details, match stat graphs, table position, player ratings and more on separate screens - just with a stroke of the finger.
THE BEAUTIFUL GAME
Okay, ultimately, it's a load of numbers and primary colours located on a simple multi-screen device. But in the context of an FM match - and as an evolution of the mechanics that have become innately adopted by fans over the years - it feels like a futuristic, Minority Report step forward.
And perhaps that's the defining point of what makes Football Manager Handheld so good: Despite being forced to edit down certain details from its life-adjusting PC series, SI has skilfully managed to keep the iPhone version an emotional, often thrilling experience. (As the poor woman who got a celebratory barrage of expletives following Bojinov's equaliser against Man Utd at 9.03am on the Metropolitan line last Thursday can testify. My sincere apologies.)
Considering the limitations of the hardware, FM Handheld is a gigantic title that offers just as much of a rich, detailed experience to those taking on Notts County or Sporting Lisbon as it does Chelsea or Liverpool.
Sure, much of what you're 'seeing' is in your head - it always has been - and the limited visuals weren't ever going to wow on iPhone.
But against all the odds, potential irritation surrounding the title's intricate number-crunching has been kept to a minimum - leaving the way clear for any football fan who's fantasised about wearing a tracksuit top emblazoned with their initials to get engrossed.
Does it pose the same threat to my sleep pattern as its PC counterpart? Hard to say. At least it's only been eating into travel time: I can handle my tube journeys going a bit quicker each morning.
The fact it's started to become a 'quick game before bed' pillow accompaniment, however, is an altogether more worrying progression...
- Huge amount of data and choice considering hardware limitations
- 'Sweeping' function and use of touch screen often thrills
- Lifelike Board, fan and press responses
- Staff assistance eases novice gamers in
- Fully updated season info
- Formation could be more customisable
- Fat fingers need not apply