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J. Wilson
Sport: Management
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Chris Bourne

The aim of this game is to win promotion to the first division no mean feat. There's plenty of competition, so you have to be on your toes. Having chosen a club to manage, a breakdown of your squad is given, with a numerical assessment of the skill and ability of the players.

To start the match, the cursor is moved to the matchstick icon on the main menu and then you simply watch your team perform. At the end, the final score is given, with details of attendance, gate receipts, players' wages, and loan interest. This is followed by match results for the whole division, and the current league table.

By choosing the pound sign icon you can find out about the club's financial situation. Loans can be used to buy a player to build up your squad. The transfer list is brought up by choosing the pen and form icon. This gives details of the player for sale: his skill and energy rating, the sellers, his current value, and whether other clubs are interested. Alternatively, you might want to give a player the old heave-ho, in which case, you choose the boot icon on the menu.

The season is long and hard, and only the most determined manager can hope for promotion. Only you, as rugby manager, can discover if you've got what It takes.


'ARTIC should have stuck with their all-action International Rugby (Union) and not tried (forgive the punt) to go into the Rugby League with a very poor copy of Football Manager. The presentation of Rugby Manager is very smart - using a cursor for options - but the game itself is very poorly structured. The actual match is badly done, with the same three defenders against one attacker on every attempt.'

'There is nothing in this one that is mildly interesting and I certainly couldn't play it for longer than one game. The graphics are well below average, the characters are small and undetailed, and the use of colour is so bad that you can hardly make out the other team from the pitch. The sound is pitiful - if you are lucky you may hear a beep or two during the course of the match. I didn't feel I was actually participating.'

'Rugby Manager is nothing more than a joke. The graphics are abysmal, the sound non-existent and the whole game very boring indeed. The cursor is the best bit because icons, strategy, entertainment value and all the usual stuff are just not there. Even at the price, it's awful value for money, and it's not in the least bit addictive.'

Control keys: Q up, A down, O left, P right
Joystick: Kempston, Sinclair
Keyboard play: responsive
Use of colour: bad clashes on the match screen
Graphics: unadventurous
Sound: virtually non-existent
Skill levels: one
Screens: six
General Rating: Only for avid rugby fans.