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Again Again
Sport: Action
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K

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Rich Pelley
Chris Bourne

Australian Rules Footie is supposedly the most violent 'sport' around - probably because there aren't actually any rules. As you may have gathered, it does in fact come from down under, although it's a lot closer to rugby than it is to football.

The general idea is to beat up as many people as possible, and perhaps get this odd-shaped ball through two posts at the end of the pitch. To achieve this you'll need to pass the ball to another player in your team by throwing or kicking it. If anyone on your side catches it without dropping it then they are 'marked', which means that no one can jump them until they've kicked or thrown the ball to another person. If the ball does happen to go either side of the two posts then you score one point, if it goes in between then you score two - simple enough really, and a great excuse for a punch up.

The Speccy version, however is rather less on the violent side, making it possible to play an entire game without breaking all the bones in your body, rather unlike the real thing. Putting this lack of realism aside, I surprised myself by actually enjoying Australian Rules Football.

It's a one player game in which you play against the computer for 12 minutes in four quarters (so that's, er... three minutes per quarter) in a number different games, trying either to win the Outback Amateur League or the Victorian Football - depending which side of the tape you load. The difference between the two involves the other teams you play, and how hard it all is.

You control one person at a time, running him down the three part flick-screen pitch. You control the same player until he has passed the ball, and then you move to another one - which can initially be a bit confusing 'cos you don't really know who you're going to control next. An arrow highlights your man, however, so things soon become clear. To gain control of a loose ball, or successfully tackle another player, you simply get into position and press 'fire'. You can then dash around with the ball until you are tackled or pass to another player. Everything's viewed from above so your men look more like animated goldfish bowls than people, but once you've got used to that you'll be laughing.

Controls are easy, graphics are clear and the whole thing seems to fit together quite nicely, although not quite up there with the likes of Matchday 2. As long as the fact it comes from the same part of the world as Kylie and Jason doesn't bother you, you cant really go wrong.

Quite a goodie if you're into this sort of thing, but the lack of a two player option does let it down.


Screenshot Text

Yes, yes, alright - we don't really care. Okay, okay, so we're losing slightly but it's only a game, innit? So go away, you stupid little man, and let us carry on with our game.

That's you in the middle with the arrow and the rest of your team are over there. Those two things sort of about here are the two posts which you've got to kick the ball through, and that there's the ball and well, er, that's the pitch and...