Manchester United
Copyright/Publisher: Krisalis Software, Programming by: J.Scott &
B.Costas, Graphics by: M.P. & N.A., Music by: Matt Furniss,
Release Year: 1990, Genre: Football/Soccer, Number Of Players: 1

'The most famous club in the world' (rubbish, that's Clee Hill Utd! - Phil) has had its programs in the League recently, though Alex Ferguson saved his bacon by winning the FA Cup. But maybe you still think you could do a better job, so here's your chance. As well as making managerial decisions you can even play for the entire team!

But before you get your boots on, there's a bit of managing to do via the icon-driven menu system. Each member of squad has a position and several individual skill ratings. Players aren't set in their abilities though: you can use the selective training option to improve each of six attributes.

Of course, no amount of training will be enough for some old sluggers (Bryan Robson?! - Phil) so they can be sold and new players bought via the transfer system. You can attempt to buy any of the players on the transfer list or make a bid for those not listed although they're likely to cost more. If another club makes a bid for one of your players you can accept, refuse or even insult the chairman if it's a derisory offer!

Before the next league match the team must be picked along with one of five formations. The arcade section is then multiloaded in. Matches are viewed from overhead (on the C64) on a scrolling pitch with the teams kicking left/right. On the Amiga it's a side-on view. Both United and the opposition can be player- or computer-controlled.

Players dribble automatically and shoot when the fire button is released - the strength of kick determined by the time fire was held down. In addition you can chip the ball by pressing fire again quickly afterwards. Tackling is achieved either by running into the ball or by doing a sliding tackle.

If mistimed the latter can lead to a free kick: players can get suspended for bad fouls while their victim may be injured. Both free kicks and corners can be accurately aimed by moving a cursor where you want the ball to land.

Game options allow you to change match duration, adjust computer skill level for United and opponents, and turn the management section off. The two-disk Amiga version has been around for some time now. Identical to the C64 in management mode apart from digitised piccies of the United players, its elevated side-on view of the action also features a radar scanner and a set digitised 'action replay' when a goal is scored.

PHIL
This is no Player Manager but it's enjoyable enough. The C64 game features all of the Amiga's management options and a better match section to boot. The overhead-view is preferable to the Amiga's side-on perspective while the Kick Off-style players are well animated and move at a reasonable pace.

In both versions the control method is easy enough to be instinctive while the management side is detailed enough without being over-complex. Sadly, the Amiga game's spoilt somewhat by a poor match section with less effective side-on perspective and bland players seemingly skating along the grass!

?
Amiga Man Utd's actual footie game oozes glitzy details, with a ref, linesmen, players taking goal kicks and even poorly digitzed 'replays'. But the colours used are awful, they really are very bland indeed, while gameplay is unremarkable.

Scoring goals is very tough and the game doesn't compare well with Emlyn Hughes for playability. The C64 version boasts even tougher goalies, but the worst thing is how control switches rapidly and confusingly between players.

There's simply too many players milling around for it to be more than a messy scrum. The graphics are okay though, and the management elements in both versions are fairly comprehensive.


INTRO SCREEN

PRESENTATION 68%
Easy-to-use icon-driven management menus. Multiload not a problem.
GRAPHICS 78%
The overhead view of matches works better than the Amiga's side-on perspective.
SOUND 76%
Good continuous tune in management section, sparse match FX.
HOOKABILITY 65%
Fairly playable arcade section.
LASTABILITY 69%
Comprehensive management options offer long-term appeal.
OVERALL 67%
A fair hybrid of management and arcade football.


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