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

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Jon Pillar
Chris Bourne

For 'coach' read 'manager' in this latest addition to a seemingly infinite list. Take your ailing team to cup victory, deal with injuries, transfer players, keep the bailiffs from the door - you know the kind of thing. What lifts this above the norm is that instead of just being a Football Manager with funny shaped balls (as they say), Rugby Coach really captures the atmosphere of, um, rugby. After the usual business of selecting your squad, you can get stuck into the game tactics, switching freely between normal, slow (to waste time if you're winning), drop (to try to get that vital last point) and risk modes. The latter triggers the kind of game I remember rugby as from school - the all-trampling-no-rules-elbows-in-teeth horror show. Although it's text-only, you can almost hear the thuds as player after player keels over through injury! Should you be awarded a penalty you can choose between a shot at a try or a goal (hoping you goal kicker hasn't already been concussed). Stagger through one game and it's onto the next, with the Speccy cheerfully informing you you star half-back is out of action for 5 weeks (again). Fortunately you can swop any player to any position, with the Speccy working out their new skill ratings, and it's simple but effective features like this that characterise Rugby Coach - lots of pleasing touches add up to an absorbing and engrossing game. It's also the most painful management game you'll ever play. Probably.


Screenshot Text

You can almost hear the dulcet tones of Desmond Lynam, can't you?

Pff! I remember when Leeds were top of Division One! (That was football. Ed) Oh.