Classic German football manager game that introduced users to the a new experience - no, it didn’t have anything to do with lederhosen... Well, not directly anyway. That new experience was the atmosphere. While other games had better game engines and more options Anstoss moved into completely different direction.
How can I describe Anstoss in few words? It’s just like German comedian, who is actually funny - very surprising experience. First of all it was in many ways a typical German football manager game with minimalistic player details, lack of statistics, but with well made graphics and audio side of the project. What made it not so typical was the flair with which the creators approached the genre - they did not concentrated on the same old boring management, but went into more of experience than methodical simulation.
Number of competitions available wasn’t a strong point of Anstoss - you could play only in German league, to be exactly in a single division, 1. Bundesliga, German top division. In case of relegation the game simply ended, so there was no chance to play in any other division.
While there were foreign teams in the game their involvement was limited just to European cups.
Just like typical German football manager game Anstoss offered very simple set of player parameters - the player skills level was described using just one value between 1 and 10. The only parameter that influenced player’s performance was form with value between 1 and 20, where 1 means a horrible current form and 20 means the form of his life.
It sounds very, very simple, but actually it was quite clever solution, f.e. player with skill 5 and form 3 had in this particular moment value around 4.2, while the same player with form over 15 would have value 5.8, so using just two parameters Anstoss creators were able to actually cover quite complicated matter.
Since player details were very sketchy the player management options were also very limited - apart from transfers and contract extensions there was very little else you could do.
Each week you have five training sessions to assign out of several types available, including individual training for a single player, free kicks, penalty kicks, tactic, etc. There is no direct report, but players form is somehow influenced by those training sessions.
Direct transfers through transfer list were available (one list for domestic players and one for foreigners). Also you were able to place transfer offers directly to any club from 1. Bundesliga.
Few tactics settings were available - should the players take a dive if there is a chance, how aggressive they should be, how offensive they should play, etc. With lack of full match preview and virtually no match statistics available it is hard to determine how exactly those parameters were influencing the final result.
Match engine presented the match events in form of large scale animations (large in early 1990s standards) with separate endings. It was very good way to look at the highlights of the match, so you can tell how the teams were doing, additional text informations were displayed in side window that game you more specifics.
Unfortunately there was no match report nor match statistics, so it was hard to determine on specifics. The only information you were given at the end of the match was how many opportunities both side had, which is not much to honest.
Team management options were limited to team selection and transfers, but the random events made all the difference - see overall review at the end.
There were some stadium management options available - apart from setting ticket prices for sitting and standing places you could build modules of the stands, which would improve the capacity and thus generate you more income. Also the pitch would require your attention from time to time since after each game some parts of it were destroyed.
There were no options to hire staff members.
Anstoss had sort-of multiplayer option, in which up to 4 players could use the game at the same time on the same computer - they were making their decisions in turns, while their matches were played simultaneously.
Anstoss wasn’t particularly particularly large football manager game - most of the 4 discs were filled with animations and graphic elements, but creators managed to offer a unique atmosphere. No, it has nothing to do with the match animations (which were nice), it’s the overall feeling in the game. Unlike other German games of genre Anstoss wasn’t very methodical or predictable, mostly because it offered random events. Usually they were something simple, like player injury or some accounting inaccuracies led to fine being paid, but sometimes they were something completely different.
Imagine situation, in which you just won the title, you are preparing for European Cup and sign up a star sweeper to strengthen, everything seems to be going great and then you get a news. Well, the news rather, that this new player failed drug tests and was just suspended by your federation for 2 years. Yes, it happened to me and in the worst possible moment, so for 2 years he could not train with the team (thus his skills were shrinking) nor play any games... Oh, joy!
And such surprises made this game great - it isn’t just football manager game, it is sometimes quite an experience. Where else you are asked for an interview after the game or take part in TV programme? Where else you will get a team of the week after each round? It doesn’t seem like much, but those tiny details together with good graphics and dynamic nature of the game made it a classic of the genre.
Rating: 4 based on 1 votes