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By: Robert F. Ludwick | Game Data | 11:44pm, November 10, 2004
If you're looking for a good soccer (futbol) management game, then look no further: Hattrick nearly has everything!

Hattrick is a wonderful game that combines soccer management with some good, clean fun. You begin the game by taking over someone's old, defuct team position in league play, and then you get your initial set of players, a coach, an arena, fanclub, and many other things you begin with.

Basically said, you just learn the game over time and all of the aspects of managing you team. There's quite a lot of customization you can do to your team, such as renaming your arena, changing your training type, and you can even acquire a new coach. The sky is nearly the limit when it comes to customizing your team.

Hattrick offers a wide variety of ways to enhance your team and make it better. Sure, all of the frills of naming your team and hiring a new coach sounds nice, but you also have to manage the aspects of your team that will advance it in your league, such as players and your match orders. As with any team manager in any sport, you'll have to tell your players what position to play, and how to play that position.

I could make a rundown of all the things you need to do to manage your team, but I'll just leave it by saying you have a lot of control on your team, just about as much as you'd need to manage your team effectively. All of the tools built into Hattrick gives the simulation a great deal of realism.

Granted, nothing is perfect, nor is anything perfectly realistic. In Hattrick, you can't negotiate players' wages, and players are transferred from team to team by way of sales... Acting like the players are just property. Thank god the players are only bits and bytes of data!

The gameplay of Hattrick is great. Everything is pretty self-explanatory, but the community of the game is one of the most wonderful aspects of the game experience. Interacting with the Hattrick community is a very enjoyable experience. Nearly all of the active members in the community are very helpful to newbies, and there is a great wealth of knowledge within those active members.

The interface is nearly as good as it gets. Everything is laid out wonderfully, making it easy to find what you're looking for. The only thing players of the game ever ask for is some nicer graphics, but overall, the game isn't tarnished at all by the relatively simple interface.

The gameplay is good, as I said before. Sometimes it gets dragged out too long, though. For example, you only get two games a week, leaving large pockets of time where you want to login to Hattrick, but you don't have anything to do!

The replayability in the game is, by far, the best I've ever seen in an online browser-based game. There are jsut way too many parts of the game to be able to say you've done it all. If you have supporter, you can come in every day and view extra statistics. Even if you don't, the conferences are great to visit daily, and many managers scour the transfer markets all the time looking for better players to add to their team.

As with any game, there are some pitfalls. With Hattrick, however, I can only really think of one. Daytraders have erupted onto the scene as a result of the player transfer system. Many current players gripe about daytraders, but overall, they're only a nuisance more than anything else.

The great thing about Hattrick is that it's always under development. The development team is constantly adding new things to the game and enhancing current items. They listen intently to the players' wishes, and oftentimes those wishes are incorporated into the game in some form or other.

Overall, Hattrick is a wonderful soccer management experience that no soccer fan should pass up at least looking at it. Even if you don't like soccer much, this is still an enthralling game to get sucked into. Who knows, you may end up liking the world's most favorite sport after some time in Hattrick!

9.2 Gameplay 888 8
Replayability 101010 10
Interface 999 9
Community 101010 10
Reviewer's Tilt 999 9
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