Kick Off 2

Publisher: Anco
Machine: Amiga 500

Published in Zzap #64

Kick Off 2

The long-awaited sequel to the 'Amiga Game Of 1989' (as voted by you) boasts a huge array of new options including an optional World Cup Tournament.

As in the original, matches are played on an overhead-view, scrolling pitch with a 'radar' scanner showing the positions of off-screen players. Unlike most other football sims, the ball doesn't stick to players' feet for dribbling - it must be pushed along manually. As well as shooting, passing, heading and chipping, improvements to the control system allow you to swerve the ball and perform scissor-kicks.

Tackling is achieved by running into the front of the player in possession or by performing a sliding tackle. However, if mistimed, the latter can cause a foul: sometimes punished by a yellow or red card and, in the box, by a penalty kick. A new feature is the setpiece freekick which occurs when a player is fouled just outside the opposition's box. By moving the joystick with fire, several types of freekick can be attempting, including stepping over the ball, passing to a nearby player or putting left/right bias on the kick.

Kick Off 2

Aftertouch allows the ball to be swerved and dipped - useful for bending the ball around the wall of defensive players which automatically lines up.

If you score a great goal you can replay it at slow or normal speed and save it on a blank disk. Saved goals can even be edited to compile a 'Golden Goals' disk.

Before a match you get to select your team members from the squad (including two subs which can be put on at any time). Starting tactics can also be chosen, although these may be changed at any time during the match. You can choose to play either for the whole team (switching between players) or in position (controlling just one player).

Kick Off 2

For Single or International Friendly matches, up to four players can take part (one or two versus two) using a Microdeal joystick adapter. Alternatively, two players can team up against a computer opponent.

The game includes a Kick Off-style league of eight teams, knockout cup, and practice mode. There are options to change pitch type (affecting the behaviour of the ball), wind speed, match duration, and tactics (four can be chosen from the eight available or others loaded in from Player Manager), and skill level (including one which allows you to load a team from Player Manager). The Kit Design option allows you to design your team's kit, choosing the strip style (plain, stripes, hoops, etc) and colours.

Finally, the Special Events option allows you to load future data discs including the optionally build-in World Cup tournament. This has all 24 teams (in their correct groups), all of which can be player-controlled.


Kick Off 2

I loved the original so when I heard about a sequel I wondered how it could possibly be improved. Well the great news is that somehow Dino Dini has managed to put all the best features of Kick Off, Extra Time and Player Manager (along with many new ones) into one game!

The basic high-speed arcade action of Kick Off has been retained but the sequel is a far more realistic game of football. The basic control system has been tweaked with optional aftertouch. A major improvement is the addition of setpiece freekicks: they're totally realistic with before- and aftertouch allowing infinite variety, and they also discourage 'professional' fouling just outside the box!

Corner kicks have also been made more difficult (and realistic) by the power function. One of the most frustrating aspects of the original was when your computer-controlled goalie or throw-in taker would sometimes give the ball straight to the opposition, so the player-controlled goal-kicks and throw-ins are very welcome.

Kick Off 2

Being a Player Maanger fan, I appreciated the way teams and tactics created in that game can be loaded up for two-player games to settle arguments about "who's got the best team". The inclusion of many other aesthetic options (I love creating flashy kit designs) and the optional World Cup tournament is the icing on the cake for the *perfect* football game.


There's no escaping the World Cup, with even Kick Off 2 coming with it - for an extra £5. Other additions include masses of useful stuff from saving replays to designing team uniforms - Phil's are particularly ghastly, a form of visual terrorism!

But what about the game itself? Initially, it seems very disappointing - not seeming that much different, other than being slower. However, the more you play it, the better it gets. Simply blasting the ball down the pitch and relying on lightning reactions for a goal won't do any more.

Kick Off 2

Now you've got to slowly build up your moves - accurate passing and smart tactics are vital. All this means it's less of an arcade game, and much more of a football sim.

I was a bit disappointed by this, until I started getting the hang of it. Then the game really came alive, with some great mid-field action. Tackling, passing and dummying the goalie (who comes out almost as much as Columbia's goalie!), are all much more important.

There's also the much appreciated ability to cripple the opposition's star player. FIFA might not like it, but I certainly enjoyed spilling a bit of blood!

Kick Off 2

All in all, the best football game has got even better!


Although I'm not the best of footballers, this is the best game I've seen this month. It goes without saying that the sequel to Phil's fave is by far and away the best footie game yet seen on a microcomputer.

The core of the program (the actual football match itself) initially doesn't seem all that different from Kick Off and Extra Time but, once you experience the flexibility of taking free kicks, goal kicks and corners you quickly realise just how far advanced the sequel is over the original.

Kick Off 2

As expected, it plays brilliantly as a two-player game but now with a four-player mode it's out of this world. The Action Replay feature can quickly make friends into enemies as goal scorers relish their victory (and then have the nerve to save the goal to disk!).

What I want to know is, what happened to the promised animated linesmen and ref? And what about a country-specific league, or the FA Cup? But I guess I'm being very, very picky.

Kick Off 2 is a great sequel and not just a revamp of the original. A big jump over Kick Off and a massive leap over all other football games around. I'm over the moon, Greavsie!


Kick Off 2

Presentation 96%
An incredible array of options, accessed by user-friendly menus. Good manual.

Graphics 83%
Simply improved over Kick Off with different pitch types and 'designer' strips!

Sound 60%
Limited to whistle and crowd FX.

Kick Off 2

Hookability 94%
As instantly playable and addictive as the original. Extra fun with three or four players.

Lastability 95%
The many options create extra variety - and no two matches are ever the same.

Overall 94%
The ultimate football sim.