Computer Gamer1st December 1985
Published in Computer Gamer #9
It is the final match of the season. England against France at Twickers and I am losing 38-35. Time is ticking away and just one more try will bring me the championship (the Triple Crown and Grand Slam slipped away with an embarrassing loss against Scotland). I picked up the ball deep in my own half, side-stepped a couple of Froggies and went tearing down the touchline. Nothing would stop me from scoring a brilliant victory. Nothing except for the stupid referee who blew for full time before I had crossed the line.
Artic is the first company to have a go at a rugby simulation and a pretty good one it is too. After you have tried your hand at a few practice matches, you can take the part of any one of the five countries in the home international championships.
The play is depicted as two seven-a-side teams, one in yellow, the other in black. The player in possession of the ball is shown as either light or dark blue. You can pass, kick or run with the ball in your attempt to score a try. There are also scrums and line outs should the ball go out of play.
When you score a try, the large board in the top left hand side of the screen, which normally shows advertisements, changes to a close up of the goal post together with arrows indicating the direction and strength of the wind. Taking this into account, you position a cursor at the point you waint to aim at and press the fire button to kick. Two linesmen show whether or not you were successful. I invariably found that Sod's law worked and that I could usually get my kick over the bar with no trouble, unless it was a vital shot in which case the wind changed as I kicked and the ball ended up somewhere near the corner flag! Artic please take not though. A conversion only scores two points, not three as in the program.
The main problem with this game is the age old Spectrum problem of attributes. When a lot of players were crowded together, it was impossible to tell what was going on. Also, the computer decides which player should be under your control and quite often it is not the one that you want and you have to sit back and watch helplessly as your opponents run in to score. Having said that, I was jumping up and down and shouting all the time that I was playing it and next time I play Scotland, I will try, try and try again. Definitely one to consider if you enjoy sports simulations.