Languages: English / Polish / German
Simple football manager game published on Amiga in 1998 - with basic options available, basic player parameters and basic match report this game is the pure definition of basic. And not without reason.
Tiny little game created single handedly by the author within 48 hours using AMOS Basic (a simple Amiga tool), which shows to be honest. Santa Monica Football Club is as basic as it gets - minimal options available, minimal player parameters, minimal interface and match engine. However it is not worse than some of the commercial titles that were available on Amiga computers.
You took part in domestic cup and league matches in one of the countries. The usual scenario for the game - you start at the bottom (4th division) and fight your way up to reach top (1st division). Once you reached the top division you had chance to qualify for international cups.
While there were 9 real-life leagues to choose from (England, Scotland, Spain, Germany, Italy, Poland, Belgium, Holland and France), 2 fantasy leagues and option to have clubs generated randomly, only your own league was simulated (or rather your own division). There were no data about your competitors, so you could not scout or observe players in other teams.
Player parameters were reduced to absolute minimum - their skills were described using a single value between 1 and 10, while other modifier was their form (value between 1 and 100). They also had age and basic statistics (goals, assists and average ratings) to give you some idea how well they were performing in current season. Player positions were described only as goalkeeper, defender, midfielder and attacker.
There were virtually no player management options - once you hire player he is part of your club forever (or as long as you sell him). Your staff took care of the training and regeneration, there was no need for you to interact with players in other way than selecting them for the lineup, buy, sell them or terminate their contracts.
Training was executed fully automatically according to skills of your staff. Also the training effects were visible only at the end of the season (which means that during the season player skills did not change, only between seasons).
Short transfer list was available for you that consisted of few domestic and few foreign players, the list as changed between season, which means that those 10-12 players are all that you can sign during that particular season. Also usually there was a handful of offers for your players, they were also active for current season, so you don’t have to make up your mind straight away, you can choose moment, in which to sell this particular player.
There were no tactics options - you chose the players for next match, which determined the formation.
The match engine showed only very basic match events (goals, injuries, cards), but you were able to make changes to your lineup in any moment.
Apart from transfers, staff management and stadium options there were no further options to manage your team. There was financial report screen to show you how well you are doing as manager or what elements drain your budget.
Only options to increase or decrease stadium capacity were available.
You were able to hire 3 staff members: coach, scout and physio. Their skills were described by single digit value. There were no contract negotiations - while hiring the staff member you were given his weekly wages and after accepting he became you employee as long as you fire him or hire someone to replace him.
There was no multiplayer option available.
Santa Monica Football Club is simply the definition of what is minimal that you can call football management game - it is very simple, does not simulate whole world, does not give you much options to fiddle with, but at the same time once you get hooked it could be addictive. Simple example: you don’t have large transfer list, which means that you won’t be able to find a particular player that you are looking for, you have to find money for the transfer and have some luck that there is player that you actually need.
Santa Monica Football Club gameplay