Your Sinclair

World Cup

Author: Rich Pelley
Publisher: Cult Games
Machine: Spectrum 48K/128K

Published in Your Sinclair #76

World Cup

Football's an odd game, and amateur football players are even odder. Why, oh why, do they have such an urge to get out of their nice warm beds and go and stand in the middle of a cold field? I could understand it if they got vast amounts of money, but they don't. They just get bruised ankles and, if they're lucky, a Mattesons liver pate sandwich. It's one of life's great mysteries!

Having slagged D&H's re-released Cricket Captain off into oblivion elsewhere in this month's YS it looks here we go, here we go (again) with World Cup.

YOU COULDN'T MANAGE A HAM ROLL! Technically speaking there is little to initially fluster about. Apart from its. Timing. That is. (Sorry -that was a crap version of an Alexei Sayle joke, but it didn't seem to work out quite so well on paper. Hem.) Everything that you'd expect to be able to do in a management game can be done. In other words the players are bought/sold, matches arranged and played, team tactics carefully considered, players trained and so on, with all options selected using exactly the method that you'd expect to be using in a management game, in other words via a whole load of lists.

World Cup

Sounds a bit like Football Manager so far, doesn't it. And I think that this is no mere coincidence. World Cup is sadly an unashamed rip-off of Football Manager.

What more, the programmers are so cheeky that they haven't even tried to do anything different with it! In fact the only major playability differences that I could find were the of an option to speed up the (crap graphic-ed) animated match highlights and the fact that the proper names are used for each countries' team. Oh, and the welcomed lack of huge pauses in the original list is lost, thanks to the upgrade to machine code from BASIC. Hardly the kind of improvements that I'd have hoped for. Especially considering the fact that the programmers have had over ten years (yes ten!) since Football Manager was originally released on the Sinclar C5. Or whatever.

Having said that, even the best management games such as European Superleague and Footy Manager 2 which, presentation-wise, have at least moved on a stage or two, still seem to feel a little thin in the playability department. With the types of games around today, this begs the question - can full-on management games still actually stand up? Methinks, with a game this poor, 'tis highly unlikely. In fact, if I hadn't already used the 'whopping great steaming pile of poo' metaphor this issue, then I think it'd be particularly appropriate to conclude with it here as well.

An absolutely dire football management game that is only fractionally better than the original Football Manager.

Rich Pelley

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