Ultimate Soccer Manager 98 was developed by Impressions
and published by Sierra
in 1998. The game featured 7 different European Leagues to manage in.
Players could choose their level of involvement in the game ranging from basic coaching functions all the way to chairman level control including negotiating sponsorship deals and upgrading the clubs stadium. The game featured around 400 clubs to choose from including lower tier teams for several of the major European leagues. It was possible to buy players from "Other Leagues", but their stats were often inaccurate.
Although not as in depth as Championship Manager
, the game did feature some unique features, including the dubious ability to "bung" other mangers amongst others. The user interface was a lot more user friendly than S
I's more stat heavy game. USM also featured a 2D match engine to watch your team in action. Despite its attention to detail in so many areas, the game did have a large amount of bugs such as clubs not renewing star player's contracts, allowing them to leave on free transfers. Also transfer fees for transfers between two human players would often not credit one player while debiting the other. Some players ages and positions were also inaccurate.
The game did come with a data editor which was not as user friendly as the game. Even with its relatively low learning curve, USM failed to make an impression on most footy manager wannabes and never became more than a minor hit. Its no surprise then that the franchise has been dormant for several years with no signs of being resurrected. For many, this game will live fondly in memory as much for its endearing bugs as for its playability.