Since Kevin Toms and Addictive Games proved how popular football game simulations can be, there have been several contenders for the cup. Most concentrate on the strategy angle - the management of a team. Only once has a game been released which is actually a graphic representation in which the player(s) control the actions of the team on the screen, and that was Star Soccer by Watson (no longer available).
Now Artic have released World Cup. This game has no strategical element, no selection of players according to their strengths, skills, temperaments etc., no juggling with banks or balancing books. World Cup is just football, the game. Owing to the difficulty of coping with a number of large characters on the screen with the Spectrum, there are not eleven members in the opposing teams, only five plus the goalkeeper.
World Cup may be played by one player against the computer or two players simultaneously against each other. The program also allows between 1 and 9 players to select teams they want to represent and will keep score and run the championship. A pool of 40 World Cup teams is provided to choose from.
The screen shows only a portion of the playing pitch, approximately the centre third, but scrolls left or right with the action to either end 's goal. In the background, atmosphere is provided by a wildly waving, cheering crowd, while the continuous soundtrack plays all those Favourites! old football crowd favourites! As with Star Soccer, the computer constantly monitors the action and will take control now and again, moving the influence of action from one player to another on the field as appropriate, taking corners, goal kicks and throws automatically. Otherwise the player has full control over the actions of a player in possession of (or fighting for) the ball.
'World Cup is an interactive game, nowhere near as involved as Football Manager when It comes to strategy and decisions, but it does have player involvement in the matches, and is the only one as far as I know for the Spectrum in which you actually move and control the players. The graphics are quite good, and the game is reasonable. The actual football play is okay but not up to the standard of such games for other machines. Nevertheless, its uniqueness makes it good, and it's great as a two-player game.'
'There have been plenty of football games before, but you've never been able to join in with the fun properly before. In this game you play the part of an entire team, actually playing - great! Playing against the computer is fine, playing against someone else is even better fun. All the players move well, up and down the field; the man that you control is very responsive, so a good simulation can be achieved. Detail such as crowds waving and football tunes are great. This is the best interactive football game for the Spectrum and football fans should get it!'
'I'm sure this is likely to prove a popular game, especially for those who like football and like playing it. Artic have certainly done a good job considering the difficulties on the Spectrum with colour attribute problems and overlapping characters. This is the one area where it fails for me a little. In a tackle it is hard to see what is going on and sometimes hard to tell whether you have the ball or not. There are loads of different tunes being played to add to the atmosphere, although they can be switched off if they're d riving you crazy. Nice detail too, when a match starts and the players run out from the tunnel or when they change over sides at half time. Pretty good.'
: well placed for two players - (1) 1/0 up/down, A/S left/right - player (2)0/O up/down, J/K left/right and bottom row to fire for bothJoystick
: ZX 2, KempstonKeyboard play
: responsiveUse of colour
: used well with control players altering colour for indicationSound
: very good, continuous tunes with on/off facility, whistle effectsSkill levels
: as far as the Spectrum goes, very originalGeneral Rating:
Generally above average but good of its type.
Real live action on the scrolling screen of World Cup.