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Football Drama is a story-driven Football Manager

Finally there's a football game that appeals to me, a sedentary man who likes a bit of soapy drama. Open Lab Games' Football Drama is a narrative strategy game where off-pitch intrigue plays as big a role as getting people to shoot balls into nets. And because it's 2019, it's also a tactical card game. 

As the "existentially troubled" manager of a team that's facing hard times, you'll have to train players, claw your way up the league and play turn-based matches with cards you've earned by the choices you've made through the story. 

Unfortunately, you'll have a shady past nipping at your heels, as well as crime, drugs and corruption trying to seduce you to the dark side. There's a karma system, apparently, and you can become wise with the help of the Book of Changes. Football management and Eastern philosophy are closely related. 

According to director Pietro Polsinelli, who says he was never a big football fan, it's inspired by the poets, writers and movies that depict the sport. I've only watched that one with the dog and Escape to Victory, with Michael Caine and Sylvester Stallone, but I would play a game about either.  

Football Drama is due out on September 18. 

Fraser Brown

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long. He thinks labradoodles are the best dogs but doesn't get to write about them much.