Reviewed by Guillaume Chalard
The French version of this football game is known simply as Foot and was endorsed by Marius Trésor, a great French footballer who played for France in the 1982 World Cup. You can select two of four teams (Great Britain, France, Germany or Italy) and choose the level of each of your players (from 0 to 20) and your opponent’s players. However, there are no differences between the different teams, save for the colour of their shirts. You automatically control the player that is closest to the ball, although pressing the fire button allows you to change the player you want to control. Once you are in possession of the ball, your speed is reduced by half, which favours a very collective method of play! In summary, it is a fast and really enjoyable game, though it isn’t realistic at all.
(Alternative Software, 1990)
Despite the name of this game, you don’t actually play a proper game of football; instead, the game concentrates on training. There are four types of training – dribbling, tackling, passing and penalties. When you have completed all four courses successfully, you can then go on to the assault course. The courses are all self-explanatory, except for the dribbling, in which you have to kick the ball around some cones in the direction highlighted by the arrow shown on the screen. There aren’t many football training games around, mainly because they’re just not as exciting as actual football games. This is no exception; the graphics are OK, but the gameplay is really dull.
There are lots of football management games on the CPC, but this game instead sees you as a crooked businessman trying to buy at least 501 shares in the top ten clubs in the 1st Division. Starting with £200,000, you buy some shares and watch their value rise and fall as each team’s fortune changes. Each week, you are paid a dividend through your ownership of the teams, and you can use that to buy more shares. You can also bet on a team to win the league or be relegated, and you can also call meetings to demand pay rises, ground improvements, or a new manager. There is no excitement to this game at all, mainly because it takes ages to build up enough money from your dividends, and you are forced to look at screen after screen of information after each turn. It’s also written entirely in BASIC.
(Code Masters, 1992)
Soccer and pinball – when you think about it, it almost makes sense. As you’d expect, the pinball table is laid out in the form of a football pitch, the aim being to get rid of each of the defenders blocking the way, and then scoring three goals to go on to the next table – which has exactly the same layout, but with more defenders. Whether you’ll actually be able to score three goals seems to be a matter of sheer fluke; the game is too difficult and the goalmouth is too small, letting down an otherwise novel concept. Out of interest, it also uses the cassette motor as a sound effect... bizarre!
A football management game combined with a board game – it sounds interesting, but after a few goes you begin to realise its limitations. Three players, which can be human or computer-controlled, choose to manage one of 32 teams and take it in turns to move around the board. Each square on the board triggers an event; one type of square lets you buy new players, another lets you set up a youth team and coach, or to make improvements to your stadium, while another lets you train your players. There are also ‘chance’ squares which may win or lose you money. The problem is that you can only perform actions when you land on the right square, which may take one turn or ten turns. Football management games should be based on skill and not luck.
You’re the manager of a 4th Division football team; you get to choose which one at the beginning of the game. Can you manage the team to the top of the 1st Division? For some reason, each division consists of only eight teams, and you can only buy players at the beginning of a season – and the large majority of them are inexperienced and available on a free transfer. You can obtain one player on loan at a time, which is useful, since they’re often better than the other players in your squad, who will frequently be afflicted by injury. The match highlights are fairly entertaining to watch; a ball bounces to and fro, representing the balance of play, and when there’s an opportunity for a team to score, you get to watch the action – although it looks rather basic. As a simulation, it’s rather flawed and it lacks detail and realism.
What’s it like to be the manager of your own software house and release some games? This game lets you try this out. Your aim is to survive for five years, but you start out with a budget of only £2,500, and if you go more than £25,000 into debt, it’s all over. In each quarter (which counts as one turn), you can select one or more games to buy, and then it’s your job to organise the duplication of tapes and the artwork, packaging, price and the number of advertisements to place in magazines. After each turn, you then read the Games News magazine which has news of how well you’re doing and how good or bad they think your latest game is. It’s all good fun, although it can be frustrating and unpredictable most of the time.
You’re a games programmer at a software house, and you want to achieve the title of Software Star. Games are developed and released, and each month you get to see how well they’re doing in the software charts; getting in the top three is crucial if you want to be known, and good reviews count, too! Other tasks you have to perform include booking adverts, removing old games from your catalogue, and whether to use hype or honesty to sell your games. Any initial excitement about the game begins to wear off; even on the beginner level, it’s too difficult.
(Opera Soft, 1988)
Bully and Mónica are both cursed. Every full moon, one of them turns into an animal, while the other regains their human form. This prevents them both from being together, so they wait until there is a total eclipse and they can visit an underwater temple where the curse can be removed. In the first part, you control Bully, and you must find the key to release Mónica (who has turned into a hawk) from her cage and reach the temple. The roles are reversed in the second part, where you control Mónica, who is accompanied by Bully (who has turned into a fish). What a strange story for a game! Well, the graphics are very nice indeed and really detailed. Unfortunately, even with twenty (!) lives, the game is still frustratingly difficult, particularly in the second part.
Watch YouTube videos of this game by: Axelino, jgonza (part 1), jgonza (part 2), Metr81 (part 1), Metr81 (part 2).
Yawn – it’s yet another Galaxian clone. This one has only four levels; three of these feature a formation of aliens hurling laser beams at you, while the fourth sees you fighting against the aliens’ mothership. We’ve seen it all before. The graphics are actually not too bad and are quite colourful, but the sound effects are nothing special. The game itself is a bit difficult; while the alien ships whizz about the screen and fire at you (and those lasers seem to home in on you), your spacecraft moves rather slowly – but practice makes perfect. Even so, there are better games than this out there.
Watch a YouTube video of this game by: Xyphoe.