When we learned that the kindly Gremlin person was to pay us a visit last week, a wave of anticipation swept through the office. We'd been looking forward to the arrival of the much talked about Nigel Mansell World Championship for weeks, and since I had long since scheduled myself to review it I was delighted at the prospect of a Friday afternoon swerving round the circuits and generally being a right pain in the aerofoil.
Somebody asked if he was bringing "that football management game" as well. I replied, uninterested, "Uh, yeah... I suppose so" - and promptly returned to that small place in my mind where I had already begun tuning my Williams.
Well, Gremlin Man duly arrived and I could literally smell the fumes from that ultra
What? Premier who? Was this some kind of joke? Now, I'm happy to look at just about any computer game - it's my job after all - but when you have a massive license thrill-'em-up such as Nigel Mansell at your disposal, a football management game starts to look a bit poxy.
There was nothing for it - Biff was penciled in for this one, so over he came to be talked through it, while I perched impatiently beside him.
Up to four players can take part, we learned, and I was invited to join in this veritable managerial feast. This was at eleven o'clock. Six hours later, long after Gremlin Man had disappeared and Biff was arranging his lift home, I was still doggedly guiding the mighty Wycombe Wanderers through the league and cups - bladder full, lunch uneaten, and Nigel Mansel discarded and untouched.
Needless to say, some hectic workload juggling and rapid arm-
I understand that Mansell has now been opened and will be reviewed by someone or other in this issue, but frankly I just don't care anymore... I'm in love.
Let's just clear one thing up before we go on. If this were a review of computerised chess, and you couldn't play, it wouldn't hold too much interest for you would it? Similarly, those who loathe football are unlikely to be swayed by even my enthusiastic persuasiveness - but hey - read on... you never know.
You begin your career as the manager of a GM Vauxhall Conference League team - the choice of exactly which is yours - and the basic aim is to achieve as much success as possible from your humble beginnings, hoping eventually to become Premier League champs and maybe even win the European Cup.
Not only will you utilise all of your mighty managerial skills, but a goodly amount of business acumen is required too, in order to ensure the overall stability of the club.
Premier Manager has got so many features that I really don't know where to start, so look at the boxes littered around this page for a run-down of the game's various features. This isn't all of it by any means - I haven't even touched upon the cup competitions or injuries or... I could go on.
Most people who do follow football are likely to support a league team, and may be disappointed that they can't jump straight into the game as Liverpool or Man United. In fact the only way in which you can change club is by being offered a new position at the end of a season - obviously dependent upon how well you fared. This doesn't detract form the game in any way, and if anything only makes the whole thing more realistic - let's face it - Liverpool versus Stalybridge Celtic in the Conference league isn't really likely, is it?
If you are a fan of this kind of thing, or have been disappointed by previous attempts - indeed even if yo are an Eskimo hermit living on a glacier above a Norwegian hamlet with no access to electricity - buy this game.
Buy it, buy it, buy it. I love Premier Manager so much I want to have its babies.