Front Office Football 2007 Review (PC)
Just the other day, I was cleaning out my office and I uncovered my copy of Solecismic Software’s Front Office Football: The College Years. For those of you who never got the chance to play this game, you don’t know what you missed. This was my favorite football game in 2004, and finding the game made me realize that Solecismic hadn’t released anything in a while. A funny thing happened, because a couple of days later, I had the opportunity to review Front Office Football 2007 and I jumped at it. The Front Office Football series is what got me hooked on text-based sports simulations. This game gave me a much-needed football fix during years where Madden or NFL2K was subpar. I was excited to see what the newest version would offer and I wasn’t disappointed.
Lets get this out of the way: This isn’t a graphics-based game. Front Office Football 2007 actually has fewer graphical features than other text-based football games like Grey Dog’s Total Pro Football. The graphics, menus and background are almost identical to the previous Solecismic games, and that is a bit of a disappointment. Other text-based football simulations have a stadium, customizable fields and icons that help to document the on-field action. Front Office Football 2007 doesn’t feature anything different than previous versions of Front Office Football or Front Office Football: The College Years when it comes to graphics.
While the fact that there are no graphical improvements is a major disappointment, people don’t buy Front Office Football or any other text-based game for the graphics. They buy the game for the strategic element, and Front Office Football 2007 offers plenty of strategy. As with most text-based sports games, you can choose to be just the GM or GM/coach. As just the GM, you control everything from the roster to free agency to the draft. You can choose to simulate each game or watch every game. I love the amount of freedom the game gives you. During the season, I’m mostly focused on my team, but its great to be able to watch other important games and it really helps you to become immersed in your season.
As a GM/coach, the depth of the game will amaze you. You can control everything from the number of times your team runs to the right or the number of times your defense will expect the run when the game is tied and your opponent is on the six yard line. Yes, Front Office Football 2007 is that deep. Another thing I love about the game is the in-game playcalling interface. The interface has expanded over the years, and now you can choose the formation, which side the play will be run to, who is responsible for blitz pickup and which side will be the strong side, all before calling the actual play. For some people, this will be a bit overwhelming, and that’s understandable. For those who want a simpler playcalling interface, you can just press a button and a play will be called based on your pre-game game plan.
There are a number of new features in Front Office Football 2007, and all of them add to the game’s appeal. The biggest features in my opinion are the expanded game plans and depth charts, the expanded scouting combine and rookie interviews. The expanded depth chart permits you to do formation- and situation-based substitutions, which is something that was sorely missing from previous versions of the game. The draft is perhaps the most enjoyable part of the game. There is nothing like praying that the top player on your board falls to your pick or finding a sixth- or seventh-round jewel. The expanded scouting combine and rookie interviews provide you with more than enough information to make the right choice on draft day.
With each version, the Front Office Football series becomes more and more complete, and Front Office Football 2007 is no different. While I would love to see better graphics and the inclusion of sound in future versions, I recognize that most text-based sport sim fans aren’t looking for that, from this type of game. Regarding the things that they are looking for - a ton of strategy and a great simulation engine - they will be very pleased. If you are a Front Office Football fan or just a text-based sports simulation fan, Front Office Football 2007 is a must-buy.