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Item - Big Match Manager

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Series: Interactive Football Gamebook
Author: Sheldon, Tom
Date: August, 2004
ISBN: 0747573352 / 9780747573357
Length: 240 pages
hadlee73's Thoughts:

Big Match Manager is an interactive gamebook where the reader must take on the role of manager of football club Hardwick City as they attempt to win a football league. This involves deciding how to train your players, handling player trades, bringing on a new sponsor, etc. If this wasn't enough already, your star player has also gone missing, and so you have to investigate a kidnapping and conspiracy and solve the case before the end of the season. If you don't both win the season and solve the mystery, you will fail.

I really enjoyed mixing what is a football management gamebook with an interactive mystery. Managing the team includes selecting who will be in the starting team each week and handling any disputes there might be among your players. Only choosing the best-rated players doesn't always lead to victory, as some players combine better with others and might end up being the combination who clinch a tight game. The mystery part of the book is interesting and well written, and though it is mostly linear you do have some genuine deduction to do. This is more of a "miss the clue and you'll probably fail" kind of book, and while it is easy to retrace your path it can be frustrating to lose your season progress if you were winning the league.

The writing by Tom Sheldon is very good; tight and not too long-winded, and with a good amount of humour inserted where it is needed. I enjoyed this book much more than I thought I would!

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