With each passing year the Football Manager series raises the bar, every annual release proving more complex than its predecessor. The ability to micromanage every facet of your team has ultimately been the factor that's made the PC series so compelling. But such impressive depth also runs the risk of making handheld ports feel increasingly watered-down. So while Football Manager Handheld 2010 on iPhone and iPod Touch is undoubtedly an entertaining management experience, it's hard to escape the limitations of the format.
The first challenge the game faces is the size of the iPhone's screen. With the game's spreadsheet- and stat-heavy nature, attempting to make on-screen selections is definitely not the domain of stubby-fingered jabbing, making the acquisition of a stylus a necessity. Simple tasks such as team selections can turn into unnecessarily challenging and time-consuming chores, though to the game's credit, an icon-driven navigational system and an ability to scroll between screens with a flick of your finger alleviate the problem somewhat.
Developer Sports Interactive has managed to pack in an impressive feature set, such as the ability to manage any team from 34 leagues in 11 countries. Each player possesses comprehensive stats that can be viewed with a single touch, while training schedules can be defined and assigned to each position with consummate ease.