Icon Design Ltd
1986
Sport: Action
£6.95
£1.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

46,47
Terry Pratt
Chris Bourne

It's like this boss ... they achieved mid-field dominance, culminating in a crescendo of attacks and a goal-riot I was powerless to prevent.

Or in footballing parlance: 'We wuz stuffed.'

The impression I took away from Peter Shilton's Handball Maradonna was that Argus had a game idea waiting for a suitable controversy to give it life - whether we should consequently be happy that England had such a contentious exist from the '86 World Cup is doubtful.

Goalkeeper is not the most glamorous position on a football pitch and the game suffers from the inevitable fact that the action happens to you rather than around you.

Having accepted, then, that better games subjects have been chosen, it is only fair to add that Handball Maradonna is still a worthy attempt at appreciating soccer from the 'keeper's point of view.

You control the keeper bouncing on his goal-line as action unfolds before him. Without fail the defence contrive to present the opposing forwards with scoring opportunities - and these guys (Ian Rush's to a man) are always on target.

You can move left and right, come forward to narrow the angle, jump to save or dive in one of six directions: high-left, low-left, centre-left and vice versa.

Be in the right position and correctly read the shot and you save it. Miss and the scoreboard bleeps up, 'goal'.

The animation of the white figure on green is fine (if slowish) but there's no getting away from the fact that you perform one act in every 20 seconds.

What earns this game its stars (three is uncommonly high from this reviewer - Ed) is that the build-ups are well animated, entertaining and above-all, realistic.

Pin-point headers from corners, viscously curving free- kicks, deadly penalties and dipping volleys rain in as the defence makes itself absent and relies on you (Shilts) to do your stuff.

You pick a team, practice, play games, try and improve your skill rating and it all takes place with the same white-shirted Linekers thumping the ball in.

It is almost addictive and definitely satisfying when you pluck one out from under the crossbar, but loses points for being impossibly difficult to pick up the flight of the ball. Forget positioning and narrowing angles, just react when you are sure of the direction of the shot.

And remember boss, you don't need a new 'keeper - spend £200,00 on the defence.

Label: Grandslam
Price: £8.95
Joystick: various
Memory: 48K/128K
Reviewer: Terry Pratt

***

Taking into account goalie isn't exactly the most action-packed position the games turns out quite well.

3/5