Soccer Star (Cult Games) Review | Amstrad Action - Everygamegoing

Amstrad Action

Soccer Star
By Cult Games
Amstrad CPC464

Published in Amstrad Action #64

Somewhere there must be a die-hard core of people who never tire of playing football management games. It's more than likely these people live in secure buildings with soft walls and no sharp objects. But each to his own, we suppose. Just as long as we can't hear them screaming at night. Anyway, Cult has released a veritable feast for such people, as James Leach reveals...

Soccer Star

Just imagine! You've suddenly been handed a Fourth Division team to manage to the top of the First, whilst trying to capture the FA Cup in the process. You start off with a big lump of dosh and half a team. Buy and sell the lads to get the best team available, train them, then start the season.

Then you get to the best bit; you actually see the 'balance' of the match, as the action swings from end to end. A large ball indicates the run of play. If it drifts towards your goal, it's panic time. If it's around the opponent's goal you can rest assured your team is doing OK. When a shot at goal is taken, the scene shifts to a 3D (ish) display of the pitch. The attacker is seen kicking towards the goal. The defenders might intercept, the goalie might catch it, or the striker might miss. All this depends on the three skill levels of the teams; the midfield levels decide whose end the fluctuating ball heads towards, and when the goal screen appears, the attacking level is pitted against the opponents' defending level.

A large amount of excitement can be generated by this simple system. The goal-mouth action can have you shouting for your team out loud. What lets the game as a whole down is the level of interaction. There isn't much, really. You buy and sell likely bods at the beginning of the season, and then all you do is make occasional substitutions when injuries occur.

Overall, though, this is more fun than most management sims, purely because you can watch your team playing. It isn't a hard game, but can get quirky: even if you are at the top of the league, if you haven't got much money you'll be sacked at the end of the season.

So, as long as you remain solvent and keep the team functioning, you should eventually rise to the top of the heap

First Day Target Score

Make it to the Third Division.

The Verdict

Graphics 60%
P. Simple, but a definite bonus in a management sim.

Sonics 55%
P. Cheers from the crowd, mainly.

Grab Factor 61%
P. Idiot-proof and easy to get into.

Staying Power 54%
P. Exciting to watch, but gameplay is limited.

Overall 57%
P. A curious hybrid. Neither part really works well on its own, but together they are a lot of fun!

James Leach

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