Screenshot of Foggy’s Quest

Foggy’s Quest

(Ayor61, 2024)

Foggy decided to visit Dimension 52b, home of the NARGs, but when he got there, they ransacked his spaceship and stole some crystals and a vital engine component called the Dimension Splicer, so now he is stranded until they can be found again. This platform game was originally released for the ZX Spectrum in 2017, and seven years later, it was converted to the Amstrad CPC. As you progress, you need to collect objects and find out where to use them. The music is pleasant to listen to, and the graphics are quite colourful, if a little basic. The layout of most of the rooms looks rather blocky, though, which reveals the game’s Spectrum origins. Overall this is a decent game, although it would have been nice to begin with a couple more lives to provide a more gentle introduction for new players.

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Screenshot of Football Champions

Football Champions

(Cult, 1990)

You have just been appointed as manager of a 3rd Division football team, and your aim is to become the manager of a top team and win the 1st Division. Unlike most other football management games, you won’t be managing the same team for the entire game; if you perform well enough, you’ll attract the attention of other teams and can join them instead. The game is entirely text-based with no graphics whatsoever, but thankfully, there are no extended match highlights; instead, the results of every match are listed on the screen, one at a time. Unfortunately you can’t choose tactics, and although there is a training option, it’s really difficult to judge its effectiveness, thanks to a lack of detailed statistics for your players. This is a below average football management simulation.

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Screenshot of Football Frenzy

Football Frenzy

(Alternative Software, 1987)

Grimesditch Rangers, a small and struggling football club, has somehow beaten many of the best teams and reached the final of the FA Cup. As the manager, this is your moment of glory – but with three days to go until the final match, everything that can go wrong does. Bills need to be paid; the kit needs to be washed and Ma Wallis at the laundry won’t do it; there won’t be a coach available to take the players to the match; your star player quits the team... and so it goes on. This is actually a text adventure created using GAC, and apparently it sold quite well. Unfortunately, it’s a nightmare to play, thanks to an extremely unforgiving parser that demands you type an exact combination of several words, yet won’t accept more obvious combinations.

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Screenshot of Football Manager

Football Manager

(Addictive, 1984)

This is the original football management game, which was first released back in 1982 for the ZX81. You start in the 4th Division and must make your way towards the top of the 1st Division (remember, this was before the Premier League was formed!). There aren’t that many options available, but you can buy and sell players and change the names of your team and players, as well as deciding which players to use. Although the match highlights are awful, they don’t last too long. This game is certainly showing its age, though, and a lot of other football management games have been released since then.

See also: Football Manager 2, Football Manager 3, Football Manager World Cup Edition.

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Screenshot of Football Manager 2

Football Manager 2

(Addictive, 1988)

This game is much better than the original. Once again, you’re in the 4th Division and have to work your way to the top of the 1st Division. The range of options is similar, but you can also do some passing training. You can now select where your players will go on the pitch, as well as choosing substitutes. The presentation is quite impressive and the match highlights are really nice and enjoyable to watch, too, with some realistic crowd noises! In fact, this is probably the best football management game for the CPC.

See also: Football Manager, Football Manager 3, Football Manager World Cup Edition.

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Screenshot of Football Manager 3

Football Manager 3

(Addictive, 1992)

Whereas Football Manager 2 is one of the best football management games on the CPC, its sequel is very disappointing. As ever, you can select any of 92 teams and are automatically thrown into the 4th Division with a team that consists of a bunch of ageing thirtysomethings. Although there is a greater range of options available and the statistics are more detailed (for instance, there are eight skill and fitness attributes for each player, and full league tables are available), it’s such a bore to play. The entire game is very slow and cumbersome, and the match highlights seem to last an eternity – and why do you usually get two or three players in your team with the same surname?

See also: Football Manager, Football Manager 2, Football Manager World Cup Edition.

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Screenshot of Football Manager World Cup Edition

This was actually released after Football Manager 2, which may cause some confusion. You can take control of any of over 100 countries in their quest to win the World Cup. However, you don’t really get to do much in the way of tactics; instead, you respond to questions asked to you by two commentators, which can affect the morale of your team. If you ask me, that’s a silly way to play a football management game. The match highlights are all right, though.

See also: Football Manager, Football Manager 2, Football Manager 3.

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Screenshot of The Footballer

The Footballer

(Cult, 1990)

Yet another football management game in which you become the manager of any one of 96 teams and try to make your way from the 4th to the 1st Division. However, this simulation is rather more difficult than most others I’ve played. Your team consists of eleven players and five reserves, each of whom is a goalkeeper, defender, midfielder or forward, and is rated with a skill of between 1 and 5 – but as you play matches, their skills become worse, and even moving them to the reserves to rest them won’t help. You can buy new players on the transfer market, but only one player is on the market each week, and it’s nearly always not the type of player you want. The match highlights are quick, but that’s not much of a bonus when the difficulty level is set much too high.

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Screenshot of Footballer of the Year

Footballer of the Year

(Gremlin Graphics, 1986)

Can you win the coveted award of Footballer of the Year? If you want to, you’ll have to show your worth and score goals – and lots of them. Starting in any of the four divisions, or the ‘super league’, you play matches and try to score goals by buying goal cards – and as you score more goals, you’ll earn greater recognition, money, and maybe you’ll be transferred to a better club. You can also buy incident cards, which might give you more money... but you might also lose money! This isn’t a bad game by any means, but it didn’t really grab my interest in the long term.

See also: Footballer of the Year 2.

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Screenshot of Footballer of the Year 2

Footballer of the Year 2

(Gremlin Graphics, 1989)

Once again, you’re aiming to win the title of Footballer of the Year by scoring as many goals as you can in a season. The main differences here are in the scoring of goals – you choose you many goal cards you want to use, and you have to select from 21 plans. After viewing the blackboard tactics, you have to recreate this on the pitch and score. There are no incident cards, though; instead, they’re replaced by a ‘double or nothing’ game where you answer footballing questions. This also forms the basis of some transfer offers, and unless you’re a bit of a buff about football, getting them right is a matter of guesswork. This game would be better than the original, but the appalling graphics let it down very badly.

See also: Footballer of the Year.

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