Activision Inc
Sprytes Ltd
Sport: Action
ZX Spectrum 128K
Multiple schemes

Mark Caswell, Nick Roberts
Chris Bourne

Yeah, kick 'em in the shin, knee 'em in the... - hang on, this looks like an ordinary footy game. Fighting Soccer is misnamed (just like Continental Circus which has nowt to do with the big top): there are no guns, no flick knives or even a bazooka, just you (and maybe a Mend) kicking an air-filled cow skin up and down a rather nicely mown pitch. The game starts with the usual options - keyboard/joystick, one or two player, etc. But a rather nice feature is the ability for one player to challenge the computer, challenge a friend, or you and a friend to join forces to beat the computer players into the ground.

The first match is against Japan with three minutes allowed to score as many goals as humanly possible. Three quarters of the screen is dominated by the playing area, but to the right of this is the status panel. This shows the goals scored, the amount of time left in each match, and a radar map of the pitch showing the positions of each player's men. The pitch is viewed from above, a perspective slightly confusing at first which a bit of practice soon sorts out. Four type of move are available: a sliding tackle, a short kick, a long overhead kick, and if the ball is near the opponent's net you've got the chance to head it (well you can head the ball anytime, but you look a right prat doing this in mid pitch).

With five games to play (providing you survive each match: if you lose a match it's end of game) the final one is played against Argentina, and providing you beat them you'll win the tournament and return home a hero. We must be thankful this isn't one of those footy manager type games where you have to faff around for ages setting up who's playing, and in which position etc.! Fighting Soccer gets straight into the action, although the title is more than a little misleading - I was expecting to see Rambo running around in a pair of football boots blasting away with a huge gun. We've all seen football games before, and even though this isn't quite as zzzz inducing as some offerings, it surely ain't likely to set the Chrimble market alight.

MARK ... 67%


'Fighting Soccer? That's not fair! When I play soccer we re not allowed to fight, there's always loads of swearing though! Yes faithful readers, this is another soccer game to add to the ever increasing pile (and most of them have only been fourth division quality!). Graphically this is quite good. Detailed players and pitch plus animated commentary make the game look highly polished. The big let down is in the sound: I played the 48K version and didn't hear a peep - I don't know whether the 128K game is any better. Unlike many other soccer games you have more control over what the player does in this. For example, when there's a throw in you can control how high the player jumps and heads the ball: brills Fighting Soccer is well programmed and will appeal to soccer fans. Check it out if you fancy a good of kick about.' NICK ... 67%

Albeit misnamed, a really good attempt at a soccer sim.