Yesterday was the end of the Hattrick season. Hattrick is a free online game that sort of emulates what it would be like to be a soccer manager. The aim of the game is to train, buy and sell players to help you win your league so that your fans are happy and turn up to games at your stadium thus earning you more money to better your team.
I’ve started playing on New Years day 2002 and haven’t stopped since. My team is called Waverley Wonders and have won two division IV championships. They’ve spent a fair bit of time in division III but have never done better than a 2nd place. This season we came a very mediocre 5th and were beaten by Jim’s team twice. I rate this as a pretty poor performance, but I have to admit my heart wasn’t completely in it this season. I even forgot to set up my friendly matches two weeks in a row!
It’s a pretty good online game to play because although you spend a fair bit of time with it at the beginning, after a while you only have to spend an hour or so on the game each week. You can spend days on it though if you become addicted – it’s kind of flexible that way.
The game is free, but if you want the extra features being a supporter gives you it costs about $34 AUD a year. I think this is a great way to run a website as anyone can enjoy it, but the hardcore can help pay for more features and hardware. Plus you don’t have the revolving advertising like the free users are exposed to.
When you join you get a team in one of the bottom leagues with players that never existed before. The team usually has a bunch of good players and some really crap ones. You can fire or sell the crap ones and set about improving your team so you can win games.
The games actually take 90 mins with 15 mins halftime, just like a real soccer match. On Wednesdays you play cup matches (then friendlies if you are knocked out of the cup) and Sundays is the league matches. The games are text driven and update every minute. You can sit there and watch if you want to, but once the game starts it requires no input from you so u can go to that family bbq or whatever!
I got a lot of people from work into it and for a while we were playing our own competition on Wednesdays. Great fun and lots of rivalries. Hattrick has over 400,000 users in lots of countries and is translated in to many languages. It has World Cup games and is so big in Sweden (where it started) that the results are written about in the paper! There are forums on the site and lots of tutorials and statistics sites all over the internet.
I was frustrated with it in the beginning because the improvements weren’t coming quick enough but over time you realise how big an achievement is for one of your players to improve so you feel great when they do. Now I love the game so much I bought the t-shirt! You can monitor your players using software written by external developers.
I have a qualifying match this Sunday and I’m hoping I win it cause if I lose I drop back down to div IV. I’d like to stay and defend my reputation against Jim’s team (Manly Marauders). Lets hope they kick the pants off Snoogan Snipers this Sunday. GO WONDERS!