Microprose Soccer
Copyright/Publisher: Microprose/Sensible Software, Programming By:
Chris Yates, Graphics By: Jon Hare, Music & SFX by: Martin Galway,
Release Year: 1988, Genre: Football/Soccer, Number Of Players: 1 or 2

* A not very Sensible footy sim

Ere we go, 'ere we go, 'ere we go - only another year before the world cup. Will Brian Clough ever get to the manager of England? Does Kenny Sansom tie up his left or his right boot first? Will Gary Lineker opt for a rad, white and blue all-over spiral perm.

Who knows the answer to these and other crucial footballing questions? Not us. More than out job's worth, that - we're just supposed to describe the game. Well, that's wrong for a start because there are two games: traditional Association football and American Rules Six-a-Side.

Both can be played in a number of different ways: two-player friendly (one-off footballing frenzy with a mate), soccer/indoor league (up to 16 players in competition against each other), World Cup/All Star Tournament and Microprose International Challenge (designed for solo play against computer-controlled teams).

In addition to basic tackling, running and dribbling, there's yer whole range of possible moves. You can volley the ball forward, flip it backwards overhead, cip it, and perform banana shots (curl it left or right). There's full goalie control and the program allows for corners, throw-ins and goal-kicks.

Control options allow you to choose match-length, banana power, team colours and auto ot manual player control. Phew!

If the weather option is switched on, chances are that your outdoor match could be interrupted by thunder, lightning and rain, plip-plopping on the surface of the pitch. Select replay if you want to see a slow-motion tele-style replay of each of your goals as they occour.

G.H.
I thought Microprose were going to marker this as a full-scale soccer sim with a six-a-sider thrown in free. Even with the extra game it still seems a bit expensive to me. Oh well... Apart from that, this has got to be one of the best soccer sims I've ever seen.

Little touches like the wacky soundtrack (you've just got to hear it, believe me), rain on the pitch and the banana shot really make it something special. I'm still convinced that Emlyn Huges International Soccer is the best footy sim so far, partly because the menu system in Microsoccer is sometimes slightly awkward to control (make a mistake and you end up switching sides in the middle of a match).

If you've got loadsamoney, get them both. If not, stick with Emlyn, and make sure you get Microsoccer later on. It's got something which many games lack - a brilliant sense of humour.

K.H.
If you're anything like me, you'll probably be dead keen on the idea of football but not overly desperate to get yourself out on to a freezing cold field in a pair of drafty shorts in the middle of winter. Brrr!

With Microprose Soccer you even get to play in an absolutely brilliantly simulated thunderstorm and your feet don't ever get wet!Not only that, with so many options and possible modes of play, you'll probably burn those horrible shorts and never opt for footy on one of those chilly pitches ever again (well not in January, anyway).

It's great having two different games (the six-a-side's my favourite) but what I like best about Microsoccer is that's it's not too serious. Where else would you find a something as silly as a banana shot and a soundtrack that wails good-by-eee totally out of time?


INTRO SCREEN

PRESENTATION 90%
More menus than you can eat bananas (and there's even one of those). Up to 16 player participation and options to save and load in games.
GRAPHICS 88%
Unusually well-defined overhead graphics - the best we've seen in a footy sim.
SOUND 75%
Pretty basic sound effects but very silly in-game musical accompaniment. Jolly title tune.
HOOKABILITY 78%
All the options take a bit of time to work out.
LASTABILITY 90%
So many different ways to play football you should keep going for a very long time.
OVERALL 90%
The best overhead footy sim we've seen so far. Buy this and Emlyn Hughes and you've got the two best footy games on the 64.


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