If, like me, you’re the kind of FM Touch player who likes to bed themselves into a save game for a lengthy tenure to rival Arsine Wenger’s Arsenal career, new features like the Development Centre will help you build towards a brighter future for your club. This is a hub where you can monitor the progress of your youth talent, players who are out on loan and your reserve team’s results.
Whether you’re managing a dominant force like Italian giants Juventus or a small fry such as Welsh outfit Barry Town, bringing fresh talent through the ranks and nurturing new gens is one of the most rewarding aspects of Football Manager. There’s nothing quite like seeing that fledgling wonder kid you’ve developed set the league alight and rise to Cristiana Ronald-level stardom over the course of multiple seasons.
Thanks to the Dev Centre and its role in bringing so many vital statistics under one umbrella, turning academy products into the legends of tomorrow is more achievable than ever.
While many of Football Manager 2019’s headline features, such as the revamped tutorials and streamlined tactics system, were designed to make the game more accessible to newcomers, FM20 Touch is one for the hardcore fans.
It’s often the case that the Touch editions of Football Manager miss out on key features included in the full-fat PC version, in the interest of keeping things mobile-friendly, so it’s good to see a major new addition like the Dev Centre find its way to tablets alongside the obligatory tweaks and refinements.
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Touch of class
At its core, FM20 Touch isn’t a radically different game to last year’s installment and that’s hardly a terrible thing. With the shiny new Dev Centre and a lorryload of incremental improvements in place, it dethrones its 2019 predecessor as the most definitive football management sim on iOS and Android. Okay, so the majority of its app store competitors are the genre’s equivalent of jumpers for goalposts, but it’s an impressive accomplishment nonetheless.
I’ve never really understood why media interaction is almost entirely absent from FM Touch. Multiple-choice press conference would be work well on touch screen.
FM Touch has always been a condensed version of its bigger brother on PC, reworked for touch screen interfaces and streamlined for consumption on the move.
The option to skip pre-season and simulate matches makes FM20 Touch a good fit for tablets – less time-consuming and easier to drop in and out of – while limiting the touchline options on match days helps make it palatable for on-the-go players. That said, there are features from the PC version that could, and perhaps should, have made their Touch debut by now.
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FM20 Touch’s other new features are largely cosmetic. Menu screens are sharper and more colorful, decorated by brighter club emblems (the ones the have the licenses for, at least) and imagery, but most pleasing of all, the game actually runs smoother and faster than FM19 Touch when played on the same hardware. I sunk countless hours into last year’s edition on the same Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 I’m using today, and FM20 Touch zips between screens noticeably slicker.
What’s disappointing is the fact this year’s 3D match engine feels in need of some fine tuning at launch. For the most part, it’s an accurate representation of how a professional football match plays out, although it shouldn’t be easier for your strikers to score 30-yard screamers than close-range tap-ins. Hopefully a quick, post-launch patch will address this imbalance, and the ugly bug that causes stadium sound effects to cut out at random (on my device, at least).
FM Touch’s 3D match engine is given subtle enhancements every year, many of them under the bonnet and invisible to the naked eye. This year, it doesn’t look radically different to 2019’s though the improvements are there if you look close enough.