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International Soccer Challenge logo

Pubisher: Microprose Price: £24.99

International Soccer Challenge A quick glance of the pictures on this page will no doubt make the exchange of your hard earned cash for the software displayed seem quite reasonable. But wait, you impetuous fools you! Put those wallets away until I have finished. A few things need explaining.

As far graphics and general presentation goes, ISC is great. The figures are animated convincingly, although a little slow on occasions. The option screens are full of alternatives for practice, league variations and even the World Cup.

The problems only really appear when you start to play the game. As with most of the football simulations the gameplay is simply not in the same Kick Off. Even ignoring the presence of the Anco classic in the market, ISC is still rather pedestrian, with runs from one end of the pitch to other the norm rather than a cause for excitement.
Corners, throw-ins and set pieces are all there. Even the ref, with his attendant linesmen make an occasional appearance – which incidentally makes a pleasant change from playing the game. The sound might just make the fourth division, with only the bare minimum of sounds popping up from the depths of dearest Paula, the singing dancing sound chip. There has been an attempt at some background music, but given the choice between that, and four hours of Kylie I know which I would go for.

Let’s face it, the game simply is not very good. If you are a real football fan, and Amiga maniac to boot, it may be worth your while. If, however, you are after real value for money it will probably be worth looking elsewhere.

"Game Zone", Amiga Computing, Issue 33, February 1991, p.39

International Soccer Challenge logo

Microstyle, Amiga £24.99
International Soccer Challenge The sequel to Microprose Soccer features an innovative 3-D perspective, viewed from just behind the ball with you always playing 'into' the screen. Shooting passing involves holding down fire to increase the power, and then moving the joystick to put height, direction and swerve onto the ball – on the easiest of three skill levels, passes are automatically aimed. As in Kick Off 2, you can either control a single player or switch between team members (excluding the automatic goalie).

You can either play in a fictional world club Superleague, or try to win the World Cup, and save your position to disk. Extensive practice options allow you to perfect passing, penalty kicks, goalkeeping (on penalties) and corners.

Zzap, Issue 68, December 1990, p.94

Wozza I've seen so many footie games in this World Cup year. I'm sick of the things. But at least Soccer Challenge doesn't use the dreary old plan or side view like 99.756% of them. The pseudo-first-person graphics work well if not for the speed; the filled 3-D pitch and stadium move as slowly as the sprites, which is a great shame because they're very well drawn and animated, Control is sluggish and although the sense of depth works well, any players behind your viewpoint are only visible on the radar. Most football fans will already have the best, Kick Off 2, and Soccer Challenge's 3-D isn't enough to seduce those who haven't.

Phil King The 3-D view must have seemed a good idea at the time, but sadly it just doesn't come off: as well as being a bit jerky it's too slow for the supposedly high pace of a football game. It also means that there can't be a two-player mode – usually the best option in sports sims. As with Microprose Soccer, the ball is glued to the player's foot, so no skill is needed to dribble – contrarily, tackling the opposition is very tricky. It's also easy to score with a set routine of running diagonally at goal and swerving your shot. This one's no substitute for Kick Off 2.

C64 update
No plans for a C64 version.

World Cup, Superleague, practice and save option.
Innovative but sluggish 3-D.
Brief crowd sample, dull thwacks and unbelievably feeble tune.
Simple soccer fun.
Soon becomes repetitive.
Even Shilts couldn't save this one.