The One

Emlyn Hughes International Soccer
By Touchdown
Amiga 500

Published in The One #47

Emlyn Hughes International Soccer (Touchdown)

"Eeeeeee! I know it, I know it!" Thank God he's not on A Question Of Sport any more. And Audiogenic's game comes at a particularly unfortunate time, what with the soccer sim market already full to overflowing. With the likes of Sensible Soccer and, to a lesser extent, Striker on the scene, it's difficult to imagine what else you'd need. If you're a bit skint, however, this may be your only option. It's a side-on scrolly affair in the Manchester United John Barnes vein that looks and plays very much like its semi-namesake, the old C64 classic International Soccer. Veteran gamers who go all dreamy-eyed at the prospect of this, however, should be warned that this Amiga incarnation isn't as hot as all that.

After wrestling with the outrageously primitive menu system (it wouldn't look out of place in a mid-eighties Spectrum game), the players trot out onto the pitch for kick-off.

There's not much in the way of sophisticated control or tactical play here - it's basically just a kick-and-run arcade game that relies almost as much on luck than judgement. Everything's handled in the most predictable and straightforward manner possible, with a control mode that's anything but immediately instinctive and takes time to master if you're to acquire anything like proficiency. Chances are most casual players won't bother and be content with just booting it at the net and hoping.

Aside from the on-field action, there's a flimsy managerial element that allows you to pick your squad and team (based on players' skill and fitness levels) for taking part in league and cup competitions. You don't exactly get to be Graham Taylor (although who'd Want to be these days?), but it does add some mileage to what is otherwise a very simple game.

It's possible to draw an analogy between Emlyn Hughes International Soccer and the man himself. As a player, Hughes is well past it - any of today's supremos would run rings round the aging star. The same can be said of the game - it's nice in its own way, but it's still wearing long shorts and heavy boots, and offers no threat to silk-clad superstar-like Sensible Soccer. To be fair, Emlyn Hughes International Soccer is an enjoyable kickabout that hard-up and undemanding soccer fans should be happy with. Its problem is simply that it's too old-fashioned and rudimentary.