I suspect a lot of you will be unfamiliar with turn based football games, so the aim of this post is to explain the core concepts and why some games were able to keep users hooked for almost a decade! As we’re talking about a football game, it’s hard not to make comparisons with the Football Manager and FIFA series. I’ll go through some features of both games and then explain what similarities and differences Super Club Soccer has. I won’t be able to go through everything in this blog post, so I would encourage you to visit our forums if you want to discuss particular concepts in more details.
As a player, you want to feel like you are in control and have an impact on the match result. Football Manager puts you in the managers shoes and allows you to have full control behind the scenes. FIFA games focus more on the action on the pitch, allowing the player to switch between players in their team.
FIFA has a mode called Pro Clubs which only allows the player to have control of one footballer in the team, rather than switching between all footballers. Rather than controlling real players, you create your own player and have full control over his skills and attributes. As you play more matches, your stats improve and you can specialise in particular areas with player traits. To be successful in Pro Clubs you have to find other real players, build a balanced team and every player needs to understand their role within the team.
Super Club Soccer has a lot of similarities with the Pro Clubs mode.
- All footballers in the game are created by real people
- You decide the attributes of your footballer
- You have full control of your footballer during a match
- Teamwork and communication during a match is key
The major difference between the games is how the user controls their footballer. FIFA is most popular on a console, with players using a controller. Super Club Soccer is a PC game where players predominantly use the mouse to control their footballer, giving a higher degree of accuracy. More to come on this later.
Management and tactics
Football Manager is the undisputed market leader when it comes football management simulation games. They’ve got a huge scouting network and they continuously strive to give their players the most realistic management experience. Every year FIFA adds new features to make their career mode more engaging. Unsurprisingly it is neglected by a large percentage of their audience, in favour of the other game modes. You don’t have that much control over the club finances and the scouting is nowhere near as good as Football Manager.
Super Club Soccer aims to be somewhere in-between the two. Because it’s all user created content (not real footballers), we don’t need to worry about scouting. All we do is give managers the tools they need to scout potential signings in any way they see fit. Watch replays of previous matches, view player stats and most importantly… talk to the player! If you find an inexperienced player with an appetite to learn, you can give him the guidance needed to compete at the highest level.
Rather than adjusting sliders or ticking boxes, your team’s approach to the next match will depend on your match preparation and the instructions you give. If you want to target the opposition right back at set pieces, you just tell your team and they’ll do it (hopefully). You’re not only managing the tactical side of the game, you also need to manage the emotions of your players. Remember, these are real people playing for you! Sometimes they’ll need an arm around their shoulder, sometimes they’ll need the hairdryer treatment. Honestly, I don’t think any other football game offers this level of realism when it comes to man management.
With regards to club finances, only you are responsible if the club runs out of money. You can’t ask the board for more money, you can’t buy more money with in-game credits. Do you save up for a stadium expansion or offer your star player a bit more money to keep him/her happy? You start off with a small budget, but that can quickly grow once you get a team together and start entering tournaments. You have to keep an eye on the finances to make sure you’re not overspending.
Character progression and controls
In-game your reputation increases if you perform well with your club and win trophies. However, a lot of the knowledge you gain is carried across between different saves and not really tracked. The young players will improve depending on their potential ability, which varies between each game. The level of coaching and how much game time they get also determines if they will actually reach their potential.
In FIFA Pro Clubs, your attributes improve the more you play and unlike Football Manager you decide exactly what the footballer improves on. You can unlock player traits such as new skill moves or taking set pieces. The rate of progression only depends on your performance on the pitch. No wages, no training drills and all players can reach the same level but at different rates.
As a footballer in Super Club Soccer, there is a much higher level of character customisation. When you create your footballer you decide if he’s going to be a speedy winger, a target man or a no nonsense centre back. You regularly train your footballer and select what attribute to improve. It’s up to you if you want to be a specialist in one area or be an all rounder. How well you train depends on a bunch of factors such as your wages, the training facilities at your club and your chosen career path (more on this later). As a manager, you unlock features throughout your career such as better stadiums and training grounds.
This section isn’t very relevant to Football Manager. There aren’t any fancy controls, you just have a lot of different configurations to impact your chances of success. As mentioned above, FIFA is generally played with a controller and you can choose how buttons translate to different players actions on the pitch.
Although the controls are very different in Super Club Soccer, that doesn’t mean it’s really challenging or complex for new players. When it’s your turn you’ll get a menu with a list of available actions to perform and then you decide how to execute the chosen action. As an example, we’ll pretend you are controlling a striker and you want to take a shot. All you do is select to shoot from the menu and then click where you want to aim the shot. The power and curl on the shot depends on the execution of the action and the attributes of the footballer. If you aim right in the corner with poor shooting attributes, the shot probably won’t go exactly where you aimed.
The challenging bit is making the right decision, as each team has a limited amount of time between each turn.
A lot of what has been said may be hard to picture in your head without pretty pictures and videos. They will come soon, I promise!
Hopefully this blog post has given you a reasonably good idea of what type of game Super Club Soccer is. But please don’t make your judgement of the game purely on this post! I’ll be posting regular content on the blog and on the facebook page. Thanks for reading 🙂
Facebook page: facebook.com/superclubsoccer
Forum site: forum.superclubsoccer.com