I have a wast experience in playing football manager games, it be online or against CPU. My first ever experience was Kick Off Player Manager to Amiga. I also played the very first CM that came out in the early 90’s.
I have played ManagerZone for more than a decade, and the development of the game has been rather slow. There has been a lot of changes in management, and the current on is among the worst ones both when it comes to communication and how they prioritize their efforts. MZ is no longer considered modern in design nor through the features it offers. A lot of the core elements in the game has never been altered and improved.
First let me start with the positives. There are lots of tournaments to partake in, either it be U18, U21, U23 or senior competitions. You can have tens of important matches per day. The game also let you watch your matches in either 2D (birds perspective) or 3D. Although the latter is quite unpolished, and looks like graphics from 1997 and certainly not 2019.
The list over negative elements in this game is quite long. I will try to keep it short, or else this review will be a long wall of text. The very worst for me is how unfair this game feels. Quite often you can dominate a game completely, like winning shots on target with 25-4, yet you lose the game like 0-2. I have also experienced winning shots on target in 20 out of 22 league games, yet been relegated. At times, this game feels 70% random.
Then there is the youth system, which is the worst I have come across in any football games I have played. You receive a bunch of 16 year olds that looked like they never played football in their entire life. Their skills doesn’t connect to where they have their potential, so you might receive a player which has 0 out of 10 in keeping, yet that is where his positional talent is. Then you receive a youth which has 4 out of 10 in shooting, yet the scout report tells you that he is a defender, despite that he has 0 out of 10 there. A youth can be top of the training report one day (meaning he is the fastest learner), yet he can max there the next day. The features are simply not linked together at all.
Lately the game has suffered from server issues, which has made the game very slow to play (pages takes several seconds to load). This has been going on for a good month now, and is an indication that they are low on funds. The fact that they recently increased prices for Club Membership is additional evidence of that.
In theory this game is free to play. However, it is quite unplayable unless you buy a Club Membership. The cost vary from country to country. In Norway it is currently 54,99 NOK per month, which is equivalent of around 6-7 EUR. But you also have to pay for a lot of stuff in order to get extras like various training camp packages and access to different tournaments. If you play this game competitively, you might have to pay around 100-200 EUR per season. Each season last 3 months.
There are very few users playing this game globally. There used to be more than 100k. But nowadays, this number is around 10k. That is the number of participants in a recent free cup.
The support system doesn’t work at all. You can see clear cheating occurring, yet nothing happens when you report this to the support. For example, there is a guy operating with +70 teams globally, selling players across these teams, yet he isn’t stopped. The current Crew seem desperate in inflating the membership numbers in order to please their investor, Stillfront Group AB. Hence they have given directives to support to not ban any teams.
I have in the past recommended this game to a lot of my friends. Neither of them are playing this game anymore. It is unfortunate how the current developers have ruined this once so brilliant football manager game. I give this game the lowest score possible, due to the horrendous poor and unfair match simulator coupled with a very expensive cost of playing this game.