Virtual football reality!
Well now you can experience all of those (except the after-goal snogging), thanks to Simulmondo. The first 3D soccer simulation. Taking a first-person perspective of the proceedings, the aim of the game is to achieve a degree of realism never seen before in a soccer game.
The rather confusing manual does go on a bit about the difference between a game and a simulation, but the game’s arcade roots are obvious.
3D Soccer is initially very confusing. The sheer speed of the action is fairly breathtaking and the range of controls and joystick actions is a little intimidating. The manual really tries very hard to explain things. Unfortunately, poor translation means that experimentation is often more fruitful than referring to the instructions. For example, there is no mention of the fact that the ‘O’ key is required to start a game.
Where the bloomin’ heck are you?
Football gets high tech!
A useful option is the overhead ‘radar’ of the action. All of the usual footie features are there, such as throw-ins, corner kicks and penalties and one unwelcome feature… offside.
The graphics are very fast vectors, backed up by some poorly animated, but nonetheless effective, sprites. The main problem with the graphics is that as they get further away, the sprites lose detail and it is hard to tell quite what is going on. The vector lines of the pitch while fast, can be jerky at times, but you soon get used to this.
The sound in the intro sections is excellent, some really funky tunes, but sadly the in-game sounds are limited to the referee whistle, there is not even a sampled crowd roar or hooligan chant to tease the ears.
Once you master the complex control method and get used to the disorientating viewpoint, the game really comes alive. The speed of the action is something that has been missing a lot of other footie games and comes as a welcome change.
The strict rules of play mean that you do actually have to think about strategy, you cannot just run down the field and knock the ball in. So all in all 3D Soccer is a fine game, but it does require patience and perseverance.
Amiga Format, Issue 24, July 1991, p.78
rying to recreate a fast sport like soccer within the restraints imposed by the Amiga and its capabilities is a very brave step. While Simulmondo’s effort is undeniably faster than MicroProse’s game, it still does not come any near the realism or speed that are necessary. Once a massive series of decidedly user-Unfriendly options have been bypassed, and the required options chosen, the game itself begins with a quick recce of the pitch, before the in-game view centres behind your selected player.
From this view, the computer then traces moves as the player whizzes all over the pitch in a vain attempt to gain possession of the ball. Where I Play fails is within this all-important control area. Although well animated, the player is cumbersome and slow to respond. When coupled with the disorientating viewpoint, the game becomes confusing to play. I spent most of my time whizzing around the fast-moving pitch, whilst trying to coax my teammates into giving me the ball. The full range of moves available include dribbling runs, huge punts and the usual array of throw-ins. To their credit, Simulmondo have also incorporated almost all of the original’s rules – including off-side. The trouble seems to be unwieldy control and unexciting action. The result is a very smart looking game with very little substance.