Ere we go, 'ere we go, 'ere we go. And there, for the want of a playable game, goes Five a Side Football. There are some nice touches to the game and make no mistake but football games are most tricky on computer and very few games have the ability to get away with it, and Five A Side football is an excellent example of not getting away with anything at all really.
Play is either between two punters or, if you're short of friends, you can play against the computer. Each player has five in their squad (although the goalkeeper is left entirely to his own devices) and control passes to whichever player is closest to the ball as indicated by the flashing arrow of doom that appears above them. The game is a bird's eye view from above and any miscreant magpie could easily score a few direct hits on any of the players as they all move soooo slowly as to be easy targets. In fact, it's probably the lethargic progress of the game that is the single most annoying factor to the game along with the sampled speech telling you to "Go for it!"
Play is by joystick or keyboard, moving your highlighted players around until they get possession. They can then dribble until they are tackled or shoot via a quick dab on the fire button, with a longer press sending the ball scooting through the clouds to no great effect except leaving yet another hole in the battered old ozone layer (yea, let's get socially aware eh kids?)
Each half is three, five or a masochistic ten (count 'em) minutes long, punctuated by the occasional sampled roar of the crowd and the snores of whoever's playing the game. If you can tell that I didn't get much from Five A Side Football then you'd be spot on. The game is slow, the graphics are quite reasonable and the sampled speech is as good as you'll get. The main problem is the whole package comes together to give you a game that's as interesting as the sex life of the average Benedictine monk and about as watchable.
Reviewer: Garth Sumpter
Some neat touches that add up to very little in the excitement stakes.
And it's a goal mouth scramble! And he's got a toe to it! And it's a goal!