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Empire Software
Not Known
1990
Compilation
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

73
Matt Bielby
Chris Bourne

Well, we're getting quite near the end of the mag now, so I think it's about time I asked you something - are you getting sick of footie games yet or what? if the answer is "Yes!!" you've probably stopped reading already, but for those of you who are left, especially those new to the fine art of Speccy soccer, how about this? It's a new compilation of three 'oldie but goldie' soccer sensations, available, to you squire, at the fairly snip-like price of £12.99. Not an absolute barg perhaps, but fairly good value nonetheless. And it goes something like this...

Kick Off
The biggie, this only came out at full price a few months ago, so we're pretty surprised to see it on compilation already. The Speccy version's a slight disappointment perhaps - after all, the 16-bits were true classics - but it's still a bit of a breakthrough in footie game terms. Never before has Speccy soccer been so fast (most other games now seem geriatric in comparison) or so accessible to someone who knows absolutely zilcho about the real thing. It's a scrolling, overhead-view game, with little red and white men bouncing round the green field as if it were a giant pinball table - totally unrealistic, I grant you, but barrels of fun nonetheless. The graphics are the letdown - very scrappily put together, with indistinct players and balls that seem to go under the goal line! This is real budget game stuff circa 1986. Still, even they're not bad enough to ruin it. Fast, easy to get into and fun, it's a flawed classic footie game for people who don't really like football.
'90 Rating: 80'

Tracksuit Manager
A totally different kettle of fish, this is your actual text-only management jobbie, which sounds like it could be a real pain for anyone not 100% obsessed by footie stats and trivia. It's not though, which Goliath should take a fair amount of credit for (they originally brought the game out in 1988, so it's no spring chicken.) Apparently the details are in here of every player in every national side in the world at the time, meaning you can really tailor the make-up of your team to fit the individual opponents. the actual matches are played in the form of minute-by-minute reports flashing on the scree as if they were coming to you via a teleprinter - a strangely gripping way of doing it. Graphically it's not so hot perhaps, but it's still a bit of a surprise for those of us who think we hate management games.
'90 Rating: 78'

Gary Lineker's Hot Shot
This is the nearest thing in the compilation to a straight footie game. It's along the lines of Matchday, though fairly unusually it isn't side-viewed at all, but a vertical scroller like Kick Off. Graphics are clearer and more distinct though (you see, Anco, it wasn't too hard) but they've opted for the big sprites approach - fine for tackling, heading and so on, but useless for shooting at goal, because you have to be a (scale) ten feet away or so before the blooming thing scrolls onto the screen. Ho hum. Still, there's a nicely mown two-tone green lawn, four divisions to steer through (made up of international teams) and even a ref sticking his oar in occasionally! Controls are of the 'you control the player nearest the ball' type, which is all very well until there are two of you pretty near to it, when it becomes pot luck which one moves. There's nothing at all that original in here it has to be said, but it remains a fair soccer game which compares well with most rivals.
'90 Rating: 73'

So there you have it, a good topical compilation. Not particularly good value if you've got any of the games already - or if you're absolutely convinced you'd never load up a management game in your life - but with a fairly open mind and an interest in soccer it could be a good buy. It comes with a World Cup wall chart and an endorsement by Shoot magazine too. Worth considering at least.

No great shakes graphically but a strong compilation nevertheless, with three top league games.

84%
76%
68%
82%
79%

Screenshot Text

Gary Lineker - big balls and a jolly nice lawn.

Kick Off - great game, but aren't these perhaps the world's scrappiest graphics?