Review by Da Rattleshake

"A harmless bit of fun."

Championship Manager. The football management game some worship. The football management game that has caused divorces and loss of jobs. It's the most popular football management game available, and the name sends a tingle down certain gamers' backs.

So just before Christmas 2001, ''Championship Manager Quiz'' appeared. To say it had the Champ Man name attached to it, it went past without much fanfare. I'm a big fan of Championship Manager games, yet I hardly noticed it.

Last week I made a short trip to GAME to purchase Pro Evolution Soccer 2. However, I got an unexpected little surprise with it. You guessed it: Championship Manager Quiz. A free copy - brand-spanking new. Expecting a rushed quiz game that relied on the Champ Man name to sell copies, I was pleasantly surprised.

It's a quiz game - that much we've established - but it makes a valiant attempt to set itself from being just a game that asks you questions. Each question follows a simple, tried-and-trusted format - choose one of four choices. It has straight questions with no fuss in the ''Keepy Uppy'' section, in which you pick a team and it asks question after question about that team. Get one question wrong and it's back to the start, but manage to put a run together and the questions start veering away from the team you selected. The ''Pub Quiz'' section is even more no nonsense, just asking you question after question whether you get it wrong or not, but you have to record your own results.

The main section of the game is where some originality is introduced. In the case of the one player game, you select two teams: one for you and one for the computer. You must pass the ball between your stationary table football-like players and then hit it towards goal when it gets to a striker, but for an attempted pass to be successful you must answer the question correctly. The question will be on a certain topic depending on what it said under the player you passed to, be it (to name a few) ''Cup'', ''Transfers'' or ''Team'', which is a question about the team you're playing as. If you get a question wrong, the opposition gains possession of the ball and will attempt to make a pass. You will then be asked another question. If you get the question right, you regain possession. Get it wrong and the opponent's pass is successful.

Another cute little feature is the ability to use ''Who Wants to be a Millionaire?'' lifelines, only with a slight twist. There's ''Hit and Hope'', which is basically WWTBAM?'s 50/50 (it cuts the four choices down to two); there's the ''One-Two'' lifeline, which allows you to have two attempts at one question; and there's ''Substitution'', which allows you to swap the question for a different one. Perfect for getting out of tight little corners, and believe me when I say you'll encounter quite a few. This game's biggest downfall is the fact that the questions are sometimes too hard. Do you know who scored twice for Stoke City in their final home game with Port Vale at the Victoria Ground in April 1997?

Of course, there's the matter of how it looks and sounds. The graphics aren't exactly a match for Halo or Metal Gear Solid 2, but then it's a quiz game. The menus on offer are aesthetically pleasing on the whole and are very clear, and the small amounts of sound fit the bill nicely.

So what is it like? It's not great, but it excels in what it attempts to do - be an intimate and fun little quiz game. With a few friends playing alongside you, it's a lot of fun. I got it for free and if you're going to buy it on its own, it'll cost hardly anything nowadays. It isn't a game that'll last you for weeks, but if you're having a night in with some friends who like football, you have no excuse to ignore it.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 11/03/02, Updated 11/03/02

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