ZX Computing

World Cup Football

Author: Colin Young
Publisher: Artic Computing
Machine: Spectrum 48K

Published in ZX Computing #17

World Cup Football

For those of you who cannot wait two years for the World Cup, Artic's latest release is ideal. Called World Cup Football, it is for the 48K Spectrum and costs £6.95. Up to nine people choose from a pool of 40 teams from England to Brazil to Tasmania and the Phillipines.

World Cup Football is the first of its kind for the Spectrum. It is unlike the strategy-type football games, e.g. Football Manager. It is more like an arcade game, as you control the players.

On selecting World Cup mode from the initial menu, you are given a choice of the number of people taking part (1-9) and the teams each will represent. Then the first round begins. The teams run onto the pitch and take up their positions to the tune of "Match of the Day". There are only six a side which, although unrealistic, is less crowded.

World Cup Football

The game starts when player one's Centre-Forward runs up to take the centre kick and the whistle blows. You control the player, on your side, nearest the ball, who turns a different colour so he is easier to recognise. One problem is that you lose control of that player if another in your team gets closer. But, once you are used to this, the teams are easy to control using either the keyboard or a joystick (Kempston or Sinclair).

The animated running action of the players is good but unfortunately there are problems with the clashing of the colours if players overlap, leading to a confusing mess. This is not really a fault of the program, more a fault of the computer. The screen scrolls left and right with the play, the whole field being about three screens in length. A clock in the corner counts down from 90 minutes. Each minute lasts 4-5 seconds, giving a total playing time of about 7.5 minutes.

Throughout the game the computer plays different footbal songs, "You'll Never Walk Alone", "We're Forever Blowing Bubbles" and, when someone scores, "Nice One Cyril". These can be turned off thankfully. In the background, the crowd in the stand wave their arms and at half-time, the teams change ends while Artic adverts scroll along the top of the stand.

Throw-ons and goal kicks are taken automatically and apparently aimlessly. There is also a practice mode for one or two players.

In conclusion, the game is a little easy when playing the computer and even easier when playing your little sister! However, if you can find someone with some enthusiasm to play against, well, it will be more exciting. There is more to it than just winning the cup. For example, it would be easy to set up a league with a few friends using the practice mode game. If you are not keen on football I would not recommend this game but if you do enjoy football, and it's raining outside, World Cup Football is well worth the money.

Colin Young