Amstrad Action1st April 1990
Published in Amstrad Action #55
Life as a professional footballer isn't all glamour, glory, getting drunk and partying with bimbos. There's hard work to be done on the training pitch and the nerves of the big match to face.
As 'star' striker for a fourth division side you must him work through a year of matches, trying to improve your goal average and helping the team to win promotion. And all the time you should stay ready to make a move if a really famous club takes an interest in you...
This is a football management sim that puts you in control of one player, not a team. You concentrate solely on career opportunities and gettmg your name in the tabloid press as the next Gary Lineker.
There are three parts to the game. The first is keeping an eye on the other clubs wheeling and dealing in players, trying to buy success. The second - and possibly most important section - is the training, where you get to practise taking shots. Success here improves fitness and form, which enhances your chances of scoring in the match sections.
The transfer market is a hotbed of rumours that you can play to your personal advantage by making yourself available when the big clubs come talent-spotting Training is a three-shot test of form. Your striker is drawn in front of the goal and a directional indicator swings from side side to side, helping to place the ball. The goalie saves shots and the angles are sometimes hard to judge, but if you score then your form and asking price start to climb.
In the match that follows a training session. you simply wait as the seconds tick by until the message that "you're through with a chance" appears. Then, like the practice before the game, the line indicator pops up and you have the chance to score when it really counts.
The standard conventions of a management sim are met, and there's seemingly endless hours of waiting around while you wait to be transferred or recover from an injury. But concentrating on one player keeps the complexity to a minimum and the game speed high. The chance to influence the outcome of a game with shots is refreshing, even if you do have to wait a whole 90 minutes for a single moment of glory. Management games will never be exciting, but this one's at least fun and reasonably quick. For 'wannabies' everywhere, it could prove a cheap and amusing diversion.
For a decision-making football game, you don't seem to make an awful lot of decisions.
First Day Target Score
Get out of the Fourth Division.
Green Screen View
N. Mostly text - a few small graphics.
N. One small jingle, plus the odd whistle.
Grab Factor 66%
P. A speedy soccer sim!
Staying Power 77%
N. It's a long slog to fame and fortune.
Fun, but rather remote.