Retro Football Boss is a historical football management simulation featuring the English professional leagues from 1888 to 1998 (with German leagues coming soon). This is your chance to take a trip down memory lane or right the wrongs of the past.
All Reviews:
Mixed (26) - 61% of the 26 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date:
Sep 12, 2016

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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“The basic game is in place, fun to play and a great platform to build on. Early access allows people to experience its unique charms and to help decide which direction it takes from here. If a feature is suggested and it’s A) technically feasible and B) will make the game more fun, it will go in.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“The aim is to have a full release within nine months or as soon as it feels ready, both in terms of features, speed and stability. This is a game made by a passionate independent developer with just one coder, who has worked tirelessly for the last two years to get to this stage. Usually you would have a team of 20 or 30 working on a game of this nature, together with a small army of beta testers, so we think this proves how dedicated to the project we are. Making a football management game is the culmination of a life-long dream since we first played a game called World Soccer League on the C64, so we will not stop until it is as good as it can possibly be.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“We're using Early Access to add more features, game modes, optimise processing speed and to fine-tune the balance of the game as well as the accuracy of the data through community input. An inbox system, Challenge mode, fantasy mode, squad-building AI and cross-platform saved games (so you can continue your game on the move) are just some of the additions we’ll be working hard at implementing over the coming months, as well as working on improving the balance of the game.

While we are open to suggestions, international football will not considered for this version of Retro Football Boss. However, other European Leagues are a possibility if a source for the data can be found.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“This is Early Access and this is an early build. Nonetheless, the game is fully playable, but there will be hiccups along the way. With thousands of permutations as to how your game progresses, there are bound to be a few annoying (and if you’re 1-0 up at Liverpool with Barrow, painful!) crashes. The game does however feature an auto-backup feature which will restore your game from the last point you pressed ‘continue’ should the unfortunate happen.

We are pleased with the state of the data given its huge scope, but there is always room for improvement – so let us know if something looks odd. Player attributes are dependent on their position, ability, career statistics and random elements, so in your game you might see a particularly slow Ian Wright or a Duncan Ferguson who can’t win a header. We can however instruct the game to boost or restrict key attributes for any player, and with over 40,000 players in the game your feedback is key to this process. See the forum for details on how you can contribute.”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“After Early Access has finished, the final price will reflect the additional content added during development - but it won't be a big change.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“Player feedback is very important to help us to take the game to new heights. In addition to the Steam Community Forums, there will be a public forum where you can discuss your careers, report bugs and data issues, and suggest improvements or new features. Receiving player feedback is important so we can use it to improve and evolve the game to its maximum potential.”
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About This Game

Retro Football Boss is a historical football management simulation featuring the English professional leagues from 1888 to 1998 (with German leagues coming soon). This is your chance to take a trip down memory lane or right the wrongs of the past.

All The Players, Clubs and Competitions

The game is based around a painstakingly compiled database of over 40,000 players, including every player to have played a League match and over a thousand who didn’t, including all the top foreign superstars.

Choose from over 130 teams across 110 years including short-lived clubs such as New Brighton Tower, Loughborough and Nelson, or save Barrow, Northwich Victoria and Gateshead from non-league oblivion. In total there is over 8,000 options as to when and with whom to start your career.

All the senior competitions, from the bread-and-butter of the Third Division North, to the glamour of the old European Cup, to short-lived affairs such as the Watney or Anglo-Scottish cups, are modelled as closely to real-life as possible. In addition, reserve leagues operate alongside to keep your young or fringe players match-fit.

To double the sense of nostalgia we have strived to capture the look and feel of great management games of the past. Retro Football Boss has been designed to be simple enough to play in short bursts or on the move, but with enough underlying depth and attention to detail to keep you entertained for hours if you so wish.


Financials including gate receipts, wages, transfer fees and running costs have been modelled to be as close to real life as possible. The parameters have been tweaked and the results compared against actual club accounts as far back as 1910. You will go from paying players £2 a week (£1 in the summer!) in 1888 to £4,000+ a week in 1992. The game also features rules such as the maximum/minimum wage and the 'retain and transfer' system, replaced later by transfer tribunals.

Tactics and player positions have also been modelled to evolve through time. Until the mid 1960s, you’ll be dealing with wing-halves and inside-forwards rather than wing-backs or false nines, and employing five-man forward lines rather than a lone striker and two holding midfielders.

Fog Of War

With the benefit of hindsight, we know who the best and worst players throughout history were. We know that Robbie Fowler developed into a world-class striker and that Lee Fowler did not. To balance that out the game employs a fog-of-war scouting system, meaning that you must scout players to reveal their true potential and convince your board to release the necessary funds. This information from your scouts is not perfect though so watch out!

Unique Tactical Feedback

Your coaching staff will give you feedback on the strength of your side in six key tactical areas. This allows you to see immediately the effects of your team selections and tactical changes and develop a clear game plan. Of course, like your scouts the coaching staff are not perfect and their feedback will not always be 100% accurate.

System Requirements

Mac OS X
    • OS: Windows Vista, 7, 8, 10
    • Processor: 2 GHz Intel Celeron processor
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL drivers v2.1 or above
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • Processor: 3.6Ghz Intel Dual-Core (i3)
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • OS: Mac OS X 10.7+
    • Processor: 1.1GHz Intel Dual-Core (m3)
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel Integrated Graphics
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • Processor: 1.3 GHz Intel Dual-Core (i5)
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM

What Curators Say

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