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Softstone Ltd
Sport: Management
ZX Spectrum 48K

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David Powell
Chris Bourne

I hate games like this - they give reviewers a bad name. But having been disappointed by Ocean's Super Bowl (two player only), and with Mind Games' American Football which basically falls into the guessing game category, I had high hopes for this NFL-inspired management game, especially considering my love of the sport.

It might have been an idea, though, if the author, Keith Goodyer, had spent less time on his witty hackers' message and more on his programming skills.

Although the game has five skill levels, level one practically assures a victory and level five guarantees a dismal last place (after 35 minutes of pure tedium in both cases). You may transfer players (only one trade per game) and you can borrow money, all to help you increase the strength of your team.

But the action, even allowing for the atrocious graphics, shows only touchdowns and incompletion. No tackling or anything approaching realism is used here or anywhere else. What happened to the inter-league divisions? And games are decided randomly, heavily influenced by the chosen skill level.

About the best feature is a facility to save to microdrive, which is pretty gripping. Believe me, this is a prize turkey.

Sadly only a cheapie. Otherwise you'd be able to congratulate yourself on the savings you'd make from not buying this.