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Paul Lamond
Paul Lamond
Board Game
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Ross Holman, Rick Robson, Dougie Bern
Chris Bourne

Rick: You can tell this is Bryan Robson's football game and not Glenn Hoddle's. The emphasis is definitely on sweat and perseverance, not grace and artistry. This is a manager's game, not a simulation, but presumably Bryan's name sells better too.

The gimmick of this is to combine the pleasures (and pitfalls) of a dice board with a computer. Of course they could be combined on a T.V. screen but then you wouldn't get the impressive packaging. If you buy this for the skills of the ball rather than the beauty of the box you might be disappointed.

Basically you have to build a team and keep it fit (and more importantly solvent) to win the league as you battle against chance and hazards depicted by weather, bank managers and errant train drivers rather than Barnes or Gary Lineker. Your matches are mapped out on the board and take you to the major cities rather than the major teams.

Yer actual fans (and there are some left!) might think too much emphasis is put on weather as though this is cricket not soccer. A player's worth is seen in monetary, not skill terms but the most expensive is only £120,000 so we're really in the second division.

You can profit by breaking your opponent's legs (without fear of suspension) or cheat by saving goals that the ref hasn't seen go over the line. Not bad as a long playing strategy game. 6/10

Ross: Lovely box - wonderful presentation and all that, but I reckon the software house behind it should have spent a little more cash on the program rather than the promotional gear. 7/10

Dougie: I always did go for the Football Manager type programs. This one ain't up to the original's standards, but it's quite a challenge once you settle in. 8/10