Football Manager 2020 has been out for nearly a month on Steam. It has received rave reviews and currently sits at an 84 on Metacritic.

But that isn’t enough for Sports Interactive these days. FM20 also has Touch and Mobile versions for those on the go but that need to chase their managerial dream.

Available today for £29.99 at all good retailers and the Nintendo eShop, Football Manager 2020 Touch has come to Switch.

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The portable console has been a smash hit since its release in March 2017, and has seen some major titles like Skyrim and The Witcher 3 get remastered just for Switch.

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Converting Football Manager to Switch is a little trickier though. It doesn’t have the processing power of a PC to run the vast simulation of the full version, but with the bigger screen and immediate controls, it can do a bit more than the mobile or even a tablet.

So what have Sports Interactive done to fit the sensational Football Manager 2020 to the Nintendo Switch?

The same, but different

CLEAN: The menus have been simplified to fit the Switch screen

The first thing you notice when loading up a game is just how similar the menus and user interfaces are to the full PC version.

Some of the sidebars have been trimmed away and await you with a tap of the shoulder buttons, but otherwise you can pretty much do everything you want with ease.

Using an analogue stick rather than mouse takes some getting used to, but you can scroll menus with the D-pad, quick accept with Y, quick advance with ZR, and the immediate control options are all available with a click on the FM button in the top right.

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If that’s no good to you then you can use the touch screen function and just scroll and click with your fingers.

Otherwise, everything is there. The Switch game limits you to just three countries per save, so you can’t load up Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico and go scouting for the next wonderkid to bring to Huddersfield, but otherwise you can explore the transfer market, sign up your favourite young player, and sell the underperforming fringes of your squad with ease.

Football Manager 2020 Switch tactics

TACTICAL CHOICES: With just 1 tactic you have to smart

Every manager has their favourite tactic. Be it a personalised unsymmetrical formation or a classic 4-2-3-1, and crucially for armchair managers everywhere, the Switch version of FM20 contains every tactical tool you get on PC. Be it a vertical tiki-taka style with inverted wingers or a fluid counter-attack from 3-5-2, you can do it all.

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One let down is that you can only prep and run 1 tactic at a time.

You can’t train one tactic with an anchor DM and another with a playmaking AMC as most do in the full version. This means you may have to compromise a little and find a balanced approach that works against all opponents.

Match engine

FM20 on the Switch keeps the new match engine running in all its glory.

You can see every sweeping attack and heroic tackle just as PC users would. No top-down dots moving around, just the most accurate and detailed football simulation to date.

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You are limited in the tweaks you can make to the viewing experience. For example, you can’t speed it up or cut out replays, but that is just a small thing when it comes to what you do get to do with this game.

Stripped back simplicity

DEVELOPMENT: You can still turn youngsters into world-beaters

While the majority of features, like Club Vision and the Development Centre, are included in the Switch version there are a few things that are surprisingly unavailable.

There are no press conferences on the Switch. For some this will be a blessing as they can be repetitive and tedious affairs after a while, but for others it will create a lack of immersion.

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There are also no team talks. This means no pre-game confidence boost for your team, or half-time motivational talk.

This is perhaps the biggest issue I have with the game, as those little touches have been among the best improvements over the last 5 years or so. However, it does keep you flowing from game to game without the risks of a misclick ruining your preparations.

Verdict

HIT YOUR TARGETS: You have to perform or the board will be upset

If you have access to a laptop that can run FM20 without bursting into flames then you should buy the full game on Steam.

However, if you want to play on your daily commute or are in need of something to break up the turkey and family catch-ups of Christmas then FM20 Touch on the Switch is perfect.

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It keeps the accessibility for new players while retaining some of the finer tinkering opportunities that experienced players love.

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It still sucks you in and makes you hang on every pass and every contract negotiation. The menus are intuitive and easy, while the whole experience is a delight. The only issues come up when comparing it to the PC version, but in the end that doesn’t matter.

Much like our review of The Witcher 3, when it comes down to it you are getting an in-depth managerial sim that you can play stood up on a busy train or lounging around at picnic. That fact alone is enough to many any small niggles fade into the background.

RealSport rating: 4 stars (out of 5)



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