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Sport: Action
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

Other Links

David Wilson
Chris Bourne

Away the lads! Away the lads? Come on you monochromes! Yep! it's that footie time of year again! Whadd'ya mean the cricket season is about to start!?! Not on my Speccy it's not! This is Microprose Soccer, from Micropose (who else?).

Programmed by Smart Egg Software, Microprose Soccer follows hot on the heels of Gremlin's Gary Lineker's Hot Shot and is very much of the same ilk. Like Hot Shot, it features overhead viewpoints and arcade action with international sides to compete against. Unlike Hotshot, Microprose Soccer is monochrome. Then again where Hotshot has a large area at the bottom (devoted to the pitch represented in miniature, power levels and so on) this game does not. This leaves a larger part of the screen for the main area of play, and consequently larger sprites.

Furthermore, this game features much much more! There is a big control box which I've explained under Optional Extras, and the choice of playing against various international teams or even up to sixteen of your mates in your own league! In the international league the computer presents you with a league table and brings you the results as they happen for all the other fixtures. It should be pointed out that this game was unusually written especially for the 128K and then had bits chopped off to fit a 48K version. So what we have here is a much bigger game for the 128K, and conversely a smaller game for the 48K.

In the latter version you don't get all the international league tables and results, but you still get to take on the same sides. The teams are organised realistically to reflect the abilities of their real life counterparts, so Oman are a pushover and Brazil are well hard! If you do intend getting your mitts on the world cup, then a tip from Microprose's play tester Kevin, is to choose Brazil as your team. This means you don't have to play against them! (Cunning, eh?) Mind you, you still have to take on the mighty Italy. Ho hum!

So, how does it play? My answer is "Jolly well!" (Except that I don't really talk like that!). You can choose a realistic-ish version with medium banana shots or the 'really weird' high power banana game! Microprose tells me that four major league football teams were consulted on this matter and that all were in favour of high powered bananas! This means that if you actually perform a banana kick, then the ball boomerangs in a big curve and practically comes back to you! A trifle unrealistic but good fun! It can also be used tactically. There are back kicks to be performed, but Microprose really does believe in 'friendlies' 'cos there's no fouls in this game (Boo hiss! - Matt 'Bites Yer Legs' Bielby). There are throw ins, corners and goal kicks too. Here another plus over Hot Shot, is that you can control your goalie. I also like the balance of arcade type play, the background league info and computer generated results. It also bears out Microprose's dictum, "Easy to play, difficult to master." I know that we've seen a plethora of footie games of late but if you're in the market for another (or your first even!), then this is a gem. over here son, on me Speccy!

A good arcadey footie game with many novel new features. Especially good for 128k owners!


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Optional Extras

You know the control system in all other games of this type, where you control whichever of your players is nearest the ball? Well, on 'Manual' you can override this and choose which player you want to control. This overcomes the tricky situation when two of your players are equidistant from the ball and you end up moving the wrong player in the wrong direction.

This is a skill option whereby when a goal is scored, all the screen goes black and white and speedily rewinds in best video fashion and then gives you an action replay!

Nuff said!

You can choose whether or not to have 'weather'. This is random, but occasionally it will rain and this affects things like sliding tackles and movement of the ball!

Blimey! What's this?! Actually, we're talking about 'Banana shots' and not the fruit, old fruit. Choose low strength for ease of control and hi power which is loopy but great fun.

THere are even more options on the preceding screen when you choose the number of players, and the type of game wanted from World Cup tournament to a two player friendly. There is also another load offering a 6-a-side option. This has no throw ins, but the ball bounces off walls instead of going out of play!