Screenshot of World Cup

World Cup

(Cult, 1992)

Can you take your team to World Cup glory? This football management simulation sees you appointed as the new manager for your chosen country’s team, and over the course of four years, you have to manage and train your players and arrange friendly matches. The qualifying rounds take place over the second and third years of your campaign, and if you manage to qualify, the World Cup is held in the fourth year. You have a total of 50 players to choose from, and there is a wide range of training and tactical decisions available to you. I found watching the matches to be fairly exciting, provided you speed them up, but when you’re choosing your team or training individual players, you have to jump in and out of menus every time you want to look at a player’s statistics, which is quite annoying and makes it a lot more difficult to make effective decisions.

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Screenshot of World Cup Carnival

World Cup Carnival

(US Gold, 1986)

This was the official World Cup computer game back in 1986, and as you may be aware, it has gone down in history as being one of the worst games ever. For a long time, there were rumours that the original game that had been written was so awful that US Gold realised they could not sell it – although that wasn’t quite what happened. Anyway, in desperation, US Gold asked Artic Computing if they could reuse World Cup (which is also an awful game). Some very minor modifications were made, and it was sold at full price, along with a few extras such as stickers and posters which weren’t worth the extra money. It was an outrage, and rightly so. The CPC version includes a few extra bits, which are very poor and very boring indeed and deserve zero marks. In fact, Amstrad Action gave this game 0%, and I certainly agree with them!

See also: World Cup (Artic Computing).

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Screenshot of World Cup Challenge

World Cup Challenge

(Players, 1990)

Take either England, Scotland or the Republic of Ireland to glory in their bid to win the 1990 World Cup in Italy, through the qualifying rounds, the quarter-finals, the semi-finals, and the big one itself. The match highlights in this game thankfully aren’t too long, although the players are difficult to see as they’re all nearly the same colour as the pitch – that’s smart! Surprisingly for a football management game, there are plenty of graphics, and 128K owners can even hear some music. Lots of graphics, however, means a lack of options, which will disappoint hardened fans of football management games, but I liked the simplicity myself. You’ll probably win the World Cup on the easy skill level on your first go, but the other two skill levels are more challenging.

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Screenshot of World Cup Soccer: Italia ’90

World Cup Soccer: Italia ’90

(Virgin Games, 1990)

After US Gold’s shameful World Cup Carnival in 1986, it was Virgin Games’ turn to release the official World Cup computer game for the 1990 tournament. The result is good, but somewhat flawed. For some reason, you can only choose to play as one of four teams – England, Belgium, Italy or Spain. What about all the other teams? You also discover that no matter what team you choose, you always play in purple, and your opponents always play in white. Each match always lasts four minutes, but the teams do not swap sides at half time. The animation of the players is very good, but the game feels strangely silent with an almost total lack of sound effects, and it had the potential to be much better and more enjoyable than it is.

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Screenshot of World Games

World Games

(Epyx, 1987)

Reviewed by Piero Serra

In 1987 the world felt like a much larger place; air travel was expensive and there was no World Wide Web, so titles like World Games were how we learned about the rest of the planet! There are quite a few events here, so let’s start with my gold medallists: Russian weightlifting and Mexican cliff diving. These are both great fun with smooth gameplay where you can feel the challenge rising as you improve. Silver medals go to German barrel jumping, French slalom skiing and American bull riding, which are not bad but lack finesse. Japanese sumo wrestling is sluggish and unresponsive, so a bronze here. Unfortunately I just couldn’t get the hang of Scottish caber tossing or Canadian log rolling, despite many attempts, so they’re disqualified! Overall, this is a nice collection of mini-games with some great graphics, amusing animations, and suitably international music and atmosphere.

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Screenshot of World of Sports

World of Sports

(Epyx, 1990)

Reviewed by CPC4eva

World of Sports is a cartridge game that makes good use of the extra features of the Plus machines. Graphically it looks very impressive with fantastic use of colours and well drawn sprites, and there is also an excellent tune. The gameplay is quite fast and smooth. I really enjoyed seeing how fast the gameplay and movement of sprites were; it felt like I wasn’t playing an Amstrad CPC game, and this is what sets it apart from many other CPC games, especially in the multi-sporting event genre. However I do feel somewhat disappointed by the staying power. While you can choose to practice an event or play all them one after the other, there are only four events – BMX stunt riding, slalom skiing, surfing and cliff diving – and they feel like mini-games. It’s over very swiftly and you are given only three attempts on each event.

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Screenshot of World Series Baseball

World Series Baseball

(Imagine, 1985)

Baseball may not have much of a following beyond America, but this game certainly makes it fun. You can play either against the computer or with a friend, as you play nine innings and take it in turns to bat and bowl in alternate innings. The rules are well implemented, and you can even choose how you want to bowl – fast or slow, high or low. Scoring home runs is a great feeling, too! The graphics are good and colourful for a game as old as this one, and the sound and music are both good as well, especially the applause from the crowd. I don’t like the way the game goes straight into demo mode as soon as it’s loaded, though.

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Screenshot of World Soccer League

World Soccer League

(E&J, 1990)

Compete in the World Soccer League against 31 other well known teams. You can choose any of six British teams, although you can change the name of your team. There are also five skill levels. As far as football management games go, it’s not the most advanced of the lot; there aren’t many options, and you can’t train your players or make decisions on team formation and tactics. Furthermore, there are absolutely no graphics to speak of; everything is presented in a text-only format, with no effort made to even change the default colours – and you even have to press the CAPS LOCK key before the game starts! It doesn’t give a great impression, but some people like simple football management games, and this is one such example.

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Screenshot of The World War Simulator: Part II

The World War Simulator: Part II

(Retrobytes Productions, 2018)

It is the year 3000. You are Richard Burton, and you have transported yourself into a virtual world where you must infiltrate Adolf Hitler’s bunker and shoot him and his colleagues before he commits suicide. I really don’t understand the plot at all, but anyway... The game is viewed from a top-down perspective. You must explore the bunker and kill any soldiers that get in your way. However, you have to use stealth; if a soldier sees you, he’ll shoot you first, so you must be patient and wait in the right position until a soldier enters your line of fire. This creates a real sense of tension, and the music helps to increase the tension even more. The graphics are colourful and well drawn, although the ending screen that appears if you score 100% and achieve all of the game’s objectives is totally inappropriate, and if it is intended to be a joke, I don’t find it funny.

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Screenshot of The Worm in Paradise

The Worm in Paradise

(Level 9, 1985)

Reviewed by Richard Lamond

The finale of the Silicon Dream trilogy is arguably one of the most adult-themed text adventures to grace the CPC. A broadside on the politics of the day, The Worm in Paradise begins with a symbolic dream sequence after which you find yourself in a Utopian ‘paradise’ – but are things what they seem to be? Taking the best of the previous instalments, The Worm in Paradise is not as oppressively difficult as Return to Eden but it is still a tougher prospect than Snowball. The graphics haven’t improved much either, but the storyline is where The Worm in Paradise excels, creating what feels like a real world and exploring ideas not generally touched on by computer games of that time. Be warned, though; the game’s transport system is guaranteed to frustrate and it will take a long time to complete this game without resorting to cheating!

See also: Return to Eden, Snowball.

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