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Impressions Ltd
Sport: Action
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K

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Jim Douglas
Chris Bourne

Kenny Dalglish Soccer Match, claims the box-blurb, "is football arcade action at its very best". Since it's actually one of the least enjoyable games I've played recently, I'm afraid that I'll have to scotch this.

Had they said it was 'football arcade action which isn't bad" or "football arcade action which has some dodgy bits", I could have stomached it. Best? Non.

The U.S.P. (unique selling point) of Kenny Dalglish Soccer Match is, of course, Ken himself. Ken leads you through the menus. He gives you tips on play. Throughout the game, pics of Ken flip up to indicate triumph (if you score) and despair (they score). These are perfectly fine, and in fact rather good. The idea of King Ken giving you playing tips strikes me as pretty cool. It all seems a bit arbitrary, though. Things like "We must win" don't really explain that much.

The player currently under your control carries a big arrow over his head. In theory, the machine is supposed to select the one nearest the ball, but I often found my precision set-pieces were dashed because I was controlling the wrong man.

While the frills are fine, the bulk of the game is awfully dull. For a start, all the players run around at the same speed. This leads to huge processions of equally paced players trailing along after the ball.

Since the teams are either black or nearly black, a big mass of players all scrambling all over the ball gets darned confusing. In the ball is out of sight for much of the game.

The inertia on the ball is thoroughly unsatisfactory. It zooms along while airborne, but stops as if it's landed on a bit of velcro as soon as it hits the ground.

The kick itself, though, is fine. Hold the fire button down, and move the joystick to a certain position to select your shot; flicks, chips and long lobs are all available and there is some definite skill involved in making progress up the field.

Kenny Dalglish Soccer Match, with all its options for team skill, match duration, digitised pictures and (occasionally useful) advice from the man himself, scores high on frills but low on actual, basic fun.

Label: Impressions
Price: £8.99
Reviewer: Jim Douglas

High on frills, low on frills. Not much fun be had.


Screenshot Text

Footy match of the Living Dead! See the undead aimlessly following the ball. They have no free will! They have no hair!

Ker-punt! A masterful kick from the keeper. The keyed-up defenders are ready for anything thrown at them by the opposition.