Player Manager 2 is a football management game created, developed, and published by Anco in 1995, initially for Amiga. The game was conceived by Steve Screech, a programmer and graphic artist who had worked alongside Dino Dini on both Kick Off and the legendary Kick Off 2. It is said that the idea of creating top-down football players was Screech's own.
Following the success of the two football simulators, Dino Dini also created the managerial game Player Manager. The highly original idea was to combine an arcade-style game with a managerial one: In the game, you are both a player on the team and the coach. You can train and choose tactics but also play the matches in the first person. Player Manager utilized the game engine from Kick Off 2.
When, in 1993, the famous game designer and programmer Dino Dini left Anco to sign with Virgin Games, the development of Kick Off 3 and the creation of the sequel to Player Manager were entrusted entirely to Steve Screech. However, five years passed between the first Player Manager and its sequel (and in the meantime, Amiga had also declared bankrupt).
While Kick Off 3 had been a disappointment (unlike Dino Dini's Goal!), the same cannot be said for Player Manager 2, recognized by both the public and critics as one of the best football management games ever created for Amiga. The concept remained the same: you are a player in your thirties tasked with coaching the team and taking it to the Premier League. You can watch the matches, as in regular management games, or play them as a team member, choosing your role based on the tactics you have devised. It is a dream for those who want to be both the coach and the top scorer.
Player Manager uses the Kick Off 2 engine for the arcade gameplay, but fortunately, Anco decided not to use the criticized Kick Off 3 engine for Player Manager 3. Instead, you have four different modes to choose from! You can decide to play matches from four different viewpoints: isometric (very scenic, suitable if you decide to watch the games), side view (similar to Kick Off 3: European Challenge), and two top-down modes (horizontal and vertical, with the latter closely resembling Kick Off 2). The top-down view is undoubtedly the best, but the real strength of PM2 lies elsewhere. If you wish, you can also play a few matches directly, but the managerial aspect is undoubtedly the best, rich in options and overflowing with statistics. Each player has 15 different attributes that can range from 1 to 50. Some points do not change (personality), but others can improve and worsen over time. Of course, there is also the transfer market, the choice of the coaching staff, business management, and more. The tactical selection part of the game is particularly well done - a dream for all aspiring coaches.
After the initial release of the base Amiga version, an improved version was also created, called Player Manager 2 Extra: The Chase For Glory, which utilized the AGA chipset to provide 256-color graphics. Below, you can find both versions already packaged and ready to run with one click.
Some consider Player Manager 2 the best football management game of the 90s. If you want to find out why, give it a try!