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Cult Games
Shaun G. McClure
Sport: Management
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Jonathan Davies
Chris Bourne

It must be a nightmare for D&H each time they have to come up with a new name for one of their football games. After all, once you've tried all the possible combinations of 'Soccer', 'Football', 'Boss', 'International' and 'Manager', where do you go next?

But it's certainly no nightmare for the lucky YS employee who gets to review the game. In fact I was all set to have a crack at their other two Cult budgie titles Stnker Manager and 2 Player Soccer Squad, but Andy wouldn't let me. (Liar. Ed)

The impressive list of features on the cassette inlay boasts 'Offside Trap', 'Coach', 'Caps' and, of course, 'much more', so, eager to get stuck in, I loaded the thing up. The game's all about being a footballer, rather than a manager, so the first step is to type in your name, your nationality and which position you'd like to play in. Out of sheer instinct I went for Defence, as it usually means you can hide down at one end of the pitch chatting to the goalie and hoping the ball doesn't come too near.

Once everything's set up the game proceeds, somewhat sluggishly, via the usual menus and lists of numbers. You start off as a substitute in the second team, and have to train yourself up to become captain of the first team and win cups and things. That means sitting through lots of matches (ie. textual descriptions of the games' progress) selecting things from menus and trying to work out what the hell's going on.

While football management can quite successfully be reduced to menus and lists of numbers, football playing is rather more action-based, and this tends to show in PFs slight lack of depth. And one also has to question D&H's wisdom in releasing these broadly similar football games (the others are of a very similar standard) when they might be better off pooling their resources into one or two really good ones.

A good footy game that takes the player's point of view.


Screenshot Text

As you can see, I haven't actually started yet. (And I'm not sure I want to.)