Christmas is a time for miracles, and nothing is more miraculous than a soccer victory against the odds.

That’s what Pixel Manager: Football 2020 Edition tasks you with pulling off. This long-awaited football management game from developer 3×1010 sees you taking over a fallen giant and attempting to restore the club to its former glory. 

The game gives you full control of every aspect of soccer management, from training players to hiring specialist staff. One minute you’ll be poring over your club’s finances, trying to stay in the black, and the next you’ll be pitch side, screaming at the ref. 

Matches play out in real time, and you can see all the main events – goals, fouls, substitutions, and so on – playing out before your very eyes, like a real life manager on match day. There’s even a range of weather conditions. 

There are millions of possible player customizations, with the game letting you pick from a number of different models and determine everything from skin color to facial hair. That means you can model your creations after your existing heroes, try to make them look like yourself, or even invent new digital people from scratch using nothing but your imagination. 

What your players look like is a secondary concern, of course. What matters is that they’re part of an unstoppable team. 

As you win matches and competitions you’ll earn the cash to expand and redesign your stadium, allowing even more fans to pay for a seat. Over time you’ll climb the world rankings and steadily establish yourself as the best squad in the world. 

Pixel Manager is a rich, detailed management game with an arcadey streak. For instance, there are achievements and stickers to collect, and the whole game is shot through with humor. It’s complex enough for connoisseurs, but accessible enough for everyone. 

Plus, it’s all done out in authentic retro visuals, adding a layer of nostalgic style that fans of old skool football management sims will find it hard to resist. 

Pixel Manager is available for free right now on Google Play and the App Store.