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Softstone Ltd
Sport: Management
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Bym Welthy, Mike Dunn
Chris Bourne

You've come a long way since managing the Wigan Wagglebottoms American football team. The USA called and now you are in great demand.

In your coach's bank balance you have a cool quarter-million bucks. With this mountain of greenbacks you can buy and sell players in an attempt to field the best team, beat the other clubs and win in that good of American sporting tradition, the Superbowl.

At the start of the game you can choose your level of coaching expertise, and the team you'll to propel to victory. But to improve the team and achieve your ambitions you have access to the transfer market.

You can call up financial statements showing your balance, the availability of loans and any loan repayments outstanding, and arrangements for making loan repayments appear before each match. There's also a fist of available players can be called up, showing their value and skill and energy levels. And yet another list allows reserve players to substitute for playing members so that advantage can be taken of their enhanced energy or skill levels.

When a game is in progress on the field, the morale, skill and energy levels of both teams are shown and these are crucial in determining the outcome - though luck can play its part. The match is shown in 3-D, with both sides lining up on the gridiron.

At the end of the match other recent fixture results are shown, and these are further translated into league-table positions. A financial report then displays the gate money from that match, interest payment, the wage bill and your bank balance.

To measure your progress en route to the big time, a rating screen shows the total value of your squad, its morale, skill and energy levels, the team's league position and your rating as coach... because success depends on you.


'I must admit to once being addicted to Quarter Back magazine, which deals entirely with the play of this contorted version of rugby - but Grid Iron deals entirely with the management side. There are plenty of chirpy features but plenty of problems too; for instance, you can't make more than one change in the team unless you've got an injured player. Grid Iron is enjoyable to sit down with for a long time, but I look forward to a game where you can really play American football.' BYM ... 73%

'Grid Iron is the worst sports game I have ever played. There is simply nothing to it but inaccuracy after inaccuracy. Players can do more or less anything - you can get a team made up entirely of quarterbacks - which makes the simplistic game much too easy: if you manage to get a good team (hardly difficult) nothing can touch you. The financial aspect doesn't make sense either; I played the entire league, beating everyone by a huge margin, and still had a balance of about $100,000 without having taken any loans. I then won the Superbowl 28-0 (notice the way that your team and your opponents only score In multiples of seven, yet all the other games in the league have completely random scores ... ) and acquired an $80,000 debt. How? I don't know. But any money you invest in Grid Iron will be wasted.' MIME ... 06%

Joysticks: none
Graphics: limited - Mike gave them 02%
General Rating: A team-management game with the 'realistic' details so appallingly flawed it's worthless.


Screenshot Text

Grid Iron: football mismanaged.