Head Coach is a transatlantic Football Manager-style program in which the player
takes control of a team and aims to win the Superbowl.
To begin, the player picks a team and sets their skill level; either Novice,
Rookie, Veteram or All-Pro. The 32-man squad consists of offensive, defensive and
special teams, listed on separate screens which show each player's age, skill
rating, fitness and form.
A 'Midweek' section gives the coach an opportunity to swap existing players for
thoose available on the open market. This trading is followed by a build-up to
the weeks' game, including a display of the opposing team's strength and vital
The sub-sequent team selection is a rather long-winded and dull process, made
more annoying by the slow moving cursor and huge keyboard buffer.
The action takes place on a representative pitch with the players depicted as
inanimate matchstick men. Eight different actions (four defensive and four offensive)
are made available, and the result of each move is ineptly play-acted by the skinny
This portrayal is completely unconvincing, with little player movement and
variation from move to move. Further still, the duration of the play is never longer
than a second or two, and the diabolical graphics fail to generate any excitement,
action or atmospere- three vital factors.
Worst of all is the unforgiveable disregard of the rules - if a team fails to
progress ten yards within two downs the ball changes possession. Where have the
third and fourth downs gone?
The match is played straight through (without quarters or halves), and is quickly
followed by the week's results and league tables. At the end of the 12 game season,
six division winners and one extra team from each conference enter a series of play-offs
to determine the Superbowl finalists. Following a rest period of 20 days the next season begins.
A LOAD/SAVE option operates throughout, and on the whole the game structure is
superb. The idea of picking teams and progressing from season to season is great,
but unfortunately the execution is very poor. Inaccurate, frustrating and boring
gameplay, annoying delays and over-complication ruin a potentially brilliant product.