Touchdown Football
Copyright/Publisher: Electronic Arts/Imagic, Release Year: 1986,
Genre: American Football, Number Of Players: 1 or 2

Touchdown Football gives the user a direct hand in the play by letting him or her take direct joystick control over one of the players. The match is played over a scrolling panoramic pitch, with the duration of each quarter set between five and 15 minutes. As soon as the time factor has been decided the players appear and a coin is tossed to determine who kicks off.

Play action is chosen by moving the joystick in one of eight directions each signyfying an action, and pressing the fire button selecting it. From this choice another eight specialised moves are made available and one is selected in similar fashion.

When the move has been planned it is started with a press of the fire button. The ball is thrown to the quarterback, who catches it automatically. Joystick control is then handed to the player, who can move the sprite anywhere on screen. Pressing the fire button throws the ball to the player defined in the options screen. When on the defensive, one of the linebackers is placed under joystick control.

On paper, this looks like something really special, but unfortunately it just doesn't hang together at all. The graphics are nothing short of appalling - the players look like a convention of hunchbacksk, the animation is poor and the scrolling is reminiscent of a major earth tremor.

The response to joystick is very sluggish indeed and consequently the program is frustrating to play. What the programmers are trying to achieve is admirable, but unfortunately the playability element has fallen somewhere along the wayside - a shame because the construction and presentation is otherwise neat.
Julian Rignall

Paul Sumner
I'm not very impressed with this ugly simulation. The graphics are chunky and the player's animation is unconvincing. Play is slow, and despite the easy to use menus I still found myself getting frustrated. The arcade section fails miserably, and you're left with a pretty unconvincing and unaddictive simulation.

INTRO SCREEN

PRESENTATION 88%
Very easy to use menu system and well written instructions.
DISPLAY 34%
Poor, with chunky and unrealistic sprites battling across a pitch which suffers regular earthquakes.
PLAYABILITY 39%
The characters are slow to move and sluggish to respond to the joystick - frustration sets in swiftly.
AUTHENTICITY 82%
The rules are strictly adhered to, but the players are unrealistic in their movement.
OPPONENT 78%
The computer is challenging, but not unbeatable.
VALUE 39%
Grossly overpriced for what's on offer.
OVERALL 45%
A nice idea let down by its awful looks and playability.


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