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OS Scores Explained Front Office Football Eight Overview (PC)
Pros
Extremely deep, the premiere football text-sim on the market, accurate stats and rosters.
Cons
Outdated interface, leaves you wanting more. Games seem pre-determined at times. Menus could be less cluttered.
Bottom Line
Front Office Football 8 nails the little things. If not for the outdated interface, this would be an all-time classic in every sense.
8.5
out of 10
Front Office Football Eight REVIEW

Front Office Football Eight Review (PC)

Every year, gamers and sports fans alike, anxiously wait for the newest installment of EA’s Madden franchise to be released. The popularity of American football continues to grow, and sports gamers continue to search for every opportunity to get their football fix, which includes video games. The most popular NFL text sim to date is EA’s NFL Head Coach Series. Though EA no longer produces these games, a small studio continues to provide the video game community with a pro football text sim. Solecismic Software’s Front Office Football has been a classic among football fans for years, and continues to deliver with each new installment.

However, the question remains, how does Front Office Football 8, fulfill the football fans text-sim needs?


 

Gameplay

If you are new to text sims, you need to understand that there is a massive amount of reading to be done. Since you won’t be controlling the individual players, you will be in charge of all the inner workings of an NFL franchise. From being the team’s head coach and general manager, to calling the plays on the sideline, Front Office Football 8 is extremely in depth. Players even have the option to change ticket prices prior to the start of a season.

Each season is broken up into different stages: Staff Retention, Staff Draft, Pre-Free Agency, Free Agency, Pre-Draft, Amateur Draft, Late Free Agency, Training Camp, Pre-Season, Regular Season, Playoffs, and End Season.

At the beginning of the season, players will have the opportunity to retain staff members. There is a staff draft that follows, and then the free agency process begins. The game utilizes a "grey chart," which shows users each available free agent on the market. Here, you can offer contracts to players who will accept their contracts in different stages. For instance, Le’Veon Bell is one of the league’s premier players, and agreed to a contract in Stage Two of free agency. He was also offered a ton of money from various teams around the league. All of the free-agent signings seem fairly accurate, and appear to fill a specific need for each individual team. Before making the signing official, users will have the ability to see how each signing affects players currently on their roster. However, this ultimately doesn't seem to have a lasting effect on the team, but is a cool feature nonetheless.
 

After the completion of free agency, the NFL Draft shortly follows. Although scouting isn’t as in-depth as some of the other sports games, FOF8 still does a great job of breaking down each player’s attributes. Similar to free agency, the "green chart" gives users the ability to view the top available prospects at each position. As expected, players have the ability to trade players in addition to picks during the draft. Once the draft is complete, users will have the opportunity to sign any free-agent stragglers prior to the start of training camp. Shortly after, the regular season begins and players will be given the opportunity to play/simulate each game, or even simulate the entire season if they so choose.

Although there is online play, I was unable to dig into the feature as much as I had liked. However, there does appear to be countless options for league commissioners and players alike, so this is always an option for those who prefer to compete against real-world opponents.

Presentation

Like a majority of most text-sim games on the market, Front Office Football doesn’t offer amazing graphics. In fact, you might think you have traveled back in time and have emerged playing a Windows 98-compatible game. Though the graphics aren’t what many would expect from a video game in today’s world, they don’t completely hinder the game. In fact, I think the retro look and menus add a unique element to the game.

Games don’t look or play the way they do on Sundays. Instead, the entire game is played on a scoreboard, using very little visuals. There are no player likenesses. Instead, a regular-season game looks a lot like what you’d see on NFL.com during game day. You are able to see where the ball is on the field, in addition to the score and down markers. Players have the ability to simulate or play through an entire game. If you choose to call each play, however, games can take up to 10-15 minutes.

All front-office stuff is broken up into three menus; simulation, depth chart and game plan. Many of these windows are cluttered, and as stated before, it will take time to become accustomed to where everything is.

Authenticity

The most important thing for those who are die-hard football fans is the authenticity of the game. All current NFL players are in the game and players are rated on a scale from 0-100. After briefly researching each team's roster, it appears that Solecismic Software put the time and effort into making these rosters accurate to today's NFL.

Furthermore, users have the ability to customize each team's nickname. This does not take long, and helps add to the authenticity of the game. Divisions are already set up to replicate the NFL. Statistically, everything seems to check out. I simulated over a dozen seasons, and did not have any issues with the end results. Developer Jim Grindin has put the time and research into making this one of the more accurate games on the market.

Final Thoughts

With very little competition on the market, it’s no surprise Front Office Football is the premier text sim available for this sport. Despite the less-than-stellar graphics, FOF8 does all the little things right. The game is as in-depth as any sports game on the market, and kept me coming back for more and more. However, this isn’t a game that you can jump right into as the learning curve is relatively steep. At times, menus seem cluttered and make things difficult for users to navigate through. However, once you take the time and learn all the inner workings of Front Office Football 8, it really is a truly amazing football experience.

Score: 8.5 (Great)


Member Comments
# 1 djaeb2001 @ 01/16/17 02:34 PM
I'm honestly surprised that EA hasn't tried to buy Solecismic Software yet, and rebrand this game.
 
# 2 Unlucky 13 @ 01/16/17 06:16 PM
I played, and really enjoyed, this game about 15 years ago. Its funny that it doesn't look any different now than it did back then. It certainly costs a whole lot more now though. I would consider it for $10 like it was back then, but not the $30 that they charge now.
 
# 3 Vaporub83 @ 01/16/17 07:48 PM
If head coach didn't warrant a reboot. That used Madden gameplay and such. No way they go "buy" something else.
 
# 4 longranger @ 01/16/17 08:14 PM
R there mods 4 this, like real draft classes
 
# 5 Senor_Herbatron @ 01/16/17 08:15 PM
The price is a bit steep, but the game is fun as hell. As for the graphics, the developer said he was searching for someone to invest in the look-and-feel of the game.

This was my first introduction to a text-sim game and I loved it. Very excited to give OOTP a chance this upcoming season.
 
# 6 DocHolliday @ 01/17/17 08:55 AM
This is the crown jewel of Sports Sims IMO.
 
# 7 AuditMonkey @ 01/18/17 09:57 AM
I played the heck out of this in the 90s, I'm very glad to see they are doing good games still. I couldn't care less that the graphics aren't good or anything as I plan to run it on my work laptop, I will be getting this soon now.
 
# 8 DocHolliday @ 01/18/17 11:05 AM
Probably one of the best parts of this game is it actually looks like work when you are playing it. People have no idea what you are doing.
 
# 9 canes21 @ 01/18/17 09:36 PM
How does it compare to Bowl Bound?
 
# 10 Jershy88 @ 01/18/17 09:37 PM
If you enjoy franchise mode in Madden, but feel like something is missing...this is your game! There are mods available, you can even go back in time which is my favorite feature!
 
# 11 AuditMonkey @ 01/19/17 10:01 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by canes21
How does it compare to Bowl Bound?
I'm also curious about this. Have you played Bowl Bound? I kinda want to give that a try as well.
 
# 12 canes21 @ 01/19/17 03:41 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by AuditMonkey
I'm also curious about this. Have you played Bowl Bound? I kinda want to give that a try as well.
I'm an idiot and thought I was in the Draft Day College thread, lol, but I am still genuinely curious as to how similar aspects of this compare to Bowl Bound.
 
# 13 kidzer0918 @ 01/19/17 09:10 PM
would love to see a College Football one
 
# 14 ajra21 @ 01/20/17 07:52 PM
Is there a Mac version?
 
# 15 CMH @ 01/21/17 11:45 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by djaeb2001
I'm honestly surprised that EA hasn't tried to buy Solecismic Software yet, and rebrand this game.
They did. Years ago. And it didn't work out. Likely because EA tried to change the things that made it FOF.
 
# 16 lild02002 @ 01/21/17 05:03 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by AuditMonkey
I'm also curious about this. Have you played Bowl Bound? I kinda want to give that a try as well.
Bowl Bound is the most amazing college based sim out. mods helped keep it up to date, easy to customize too. im curious to how deep this is, tempting but i dont wanna get burned.
 
# 17 DocHolliday @ 01/21/17 06:08 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajra21
Is there a Mac version?


No OSX version. There are ways to get it to run on a Mac though. Visit the FOF central forums and there is a whole thread on it.


Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
 
# 18 ajra21 @ 01/21/17 07:59 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocHolliday
No OSX version. There are ways to get it to run on a Mac though. Visit the FOF central forums and there is a whole thread on it.


Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
thank you.
 
# 19 drewst18 @ 01/24/17 11:30 AM
Not worth updating from FOF7 imo.

Bought FOF8 on steam, played it for couple hours refunded it. Game will not grow with outdated menu system. I feel like I'm playing a game on Windows 95.
 
# 20 justadude71 @ 01/25/17 01:35 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by djaeb2001
I'm honestly surprised that EA hasn't tried to buy Solecismic Software yet, and rebrand this game.
They did. It was a while ago that they made a deal to distribute the game. It lasted one year. True story: When they made the deal Madden had a 2 round draft and poor offseason implementation. The next year Madden had a 7 round draft and good offseason.
 

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