World Cup Soccer
Copyright/Publisher: Macmillan, Release Year: 1986,
Genre: Football/Soccer, Number Of Players: 1 or 2

World Cup Soccer is Macmillan's latest release under their new 'Professional Touch' range. The package consists of two programs and book with an introduction from famous goalie Ray Clemence. The first of the two programs is a football manager type game using the World Cup as it setting. The first thing to do is pick the country you wish to represent.

Playing the manager of the country of your choice you can either select your own team or opt for the default team supplied by the computer. When choosing self selection there's the chance to really go to town as you are not limited to players from that country. The cast of players contains many famous names, starts from past and present including Moore, Pele and Ardiles.Each player has three ratings: Strength, Stamina and Speed, each beeing expressed as a percentage.

Having decided on your team, the program tells you what group you're in plus who is the host country. You are then presented with several options. You can either view the ratings, position table and fixtures or play the match. When you select to play the match a scoreboard appears with a clock counting up to the 45 minute mark.

During play if someone scores it is announced with a burst of white noise and a comment telling you who scored - worth making a note of when it comes to reselection. Players may also get injured or booked. If a penalty is awarded, you are asked which way you'd like to shoot/dive. Once you have decided, a computer controlled graphic screen is represented. The referee blows his whistle and the penalty takes place.

The outcome of the first half depends on your team selection skills while the second half is arcade based. When playing the second half you are presented with two min arcade games, 'Header' and 'Shoot'. In Header you control the head of one of your players. Footballs are volleyed over from the left and you have to move the head left and right to knock one into the goal.

The goalie will dive and do his best to save your shot. Next is Shoot, in which you control a football boot defending a large goalmouth at the bottom of the screen. At the top is a smaller goal mouth moving left and right. A football is thrown on from a random position and the aim is to defend your goalmouth while trying to score in the moving goal. Upon losing a football another is thrown in from a random angle. Both games have a set number of fooballs allowed.

After completing both arcade games, a rating is given on your performance. Depending on this you're either awarded extra goals or the other side are. When you've completed the match the program gives information on how well you're doing and then it's back to the first option screen. Drawing on experience from the first half it's possible to restructure your team.

The second program in the package is a factfile containing information on World Cups since 1930. To get at the information you have a choice of teams or competitions. If you choose teams then a year must be chosen and the program offers data on that team's progress. Information on results, attendance figures and venues are given.

If you have chosen competitions, a year needs to be input. You can then access the same data presented in the teams section. As a bonus, a quiz section is provided. One or two player games are allowed and the questions are presented in multiple choice format. The quiz draws from the large database of facts used by the factfile so the number of possible questions is massive.

Gary Penn
World Cup Soccer is quite a different approach to a football simulation, combining some unusual bits of action and strategy. The program is very well presented and the approach is such that even someone with little computing experience could get into it easily enough.

There are a wide variety of questions to keep the most ardent of soccer fans busy enough but the arcade sequences become a matter of routine after a few plays. Although the graphics aren't particularly outstanding, they do work effectively enough unlike the sound, which is the weakest aspect of the game, there being little in the way of sound effects and only a couple of pieces of rather poor music.


INTRO SCREEN

PRESENTATION 87%
Well packaged and put together.
GRAPHICS 63%
Noting spectacular but sufficient.
SOUND 21%
A few beeps and snatches of music, but little else.
HOOKABILITY 79%
Those with a passion for football will find it hard not to get hooked
LASTABILITY 82%
Massive databse should keep even the most knowledgeable soccer junkie happy for some time.
VALUE FOR MONEY 81%
Book and two games make a great value package.
OVERALL 74%
An unusual approach to a football game that will appeal especially to fans of the sport.


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