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Sierra Soccer logo  CU Amiga Screen Star

Sierra? Doing a football game? And it isn't an adventure? Tony Dillon is intrigued he checks it out.

Sierra Soccer Football fever hots up some more as Sierra release their own entry into the computer game World Cup, and I'm pleased to be able to report that it's a very competent and extremely playable arcade soccer game. Falling somewhere between Striker and Sensible Soccer, the game is based around the World Cup draw itself, and one of the most instantly playable arcade football engines yet seen.

Let's begin at the beginning. Although the game is based around this year's World Cup, it is by no means an official licence. As a result, you can either play as a team in the official World Cup draw, or take part in a random one. Up to eight people can play at once, each selecting a team and playing through their respective groups until victory or rejection. Naturally, the team you decide to play has a large bearing on whether or not you actually stand a chance of getting through Italy are a far better team than England, for example, and because of that you are going to have a harder time with the latter. It's an interesting way of setting the difficulty level for the game, and one that works surprisingly well.

Before each match, you are presented with the only managerial aspect of the game the chance to alter your squad. You are shown all the players in your team, including all reserves and all the relevant statistics. If you like, you can move players around by simply clicking on the one you want to move, and then clicking on the person you want to swop them with. Adding or removing parts of a team (attackers, defenders etc) will automatically change the formation you play in. It's a shame you can't define team tactics, such as playing aggressively or close marketing, but perhaps Sierra thought they would keep this one as simple as possible.

Then it's put onto the pitch, where the game really comes into its own. Whether you have an A500 or an A1200, you'll be amazed at the spectacular animation of the players on the pitch. Over 4000 frames of animation have the players running, jumping, sliding, falling face down and there's even a fully mobile referee, complete with working whistle. A1200 owners get the benefit of a full 3D crowd too!

The game is viewed from about 45 degrees looking north, similar to the Striker viewpoint, except the sprites are roughly the same size as those in Sensible Soccer. The end result is that you get a very wide view of a convincingly 3D pitch. Of course, it looks like one of the goals is larger than the other, but that's just perspective.

The set pieces have been 'borrowed' from Striker and games of that ilk too. When the ball goes out of play, or a free kick is awarded, all the players dash to their respective positions, and the person taking the kick/corner/throw in is shown with a curved line stretching away from them. This shows the projected path of the ball, and can be moved around with the joystick. If the computer player is taking the set piece, you can move your wall around to match their kick positioning, and hopefully stop them from walking a goal.

Playing a game is incredibly easy, far easier than the Kick Offs and Sensible Soccers of this world. The reason being that there are none of the combinations and strange joystick positions of those games. The whole control method is far simpler, which means you can spend more time working on team play than just keeping the ball under control. Of course, it's the learning curve that make Sensi and Kick Off the long players that they are, and naturally there will be doubts that the instant gameplay of this one will spoil longevity. Have no fear, as Sierra Soccer is just as addictive and just as much fun.

It may not have a big licence behind it, but Sierra Soccer is still great fun to play, and well worth adding to any collection.

CU Amiga, June 1994, p.82

SIERRA 25.99
a500
a1500
a500+
a2000
a600
a3000
a1200
a4000
SIERRA ON-LINE, 4 BREWERY COURT, THE OLD BREWERY, THEALE, READING, BERKSHIRE RG7 5AJ. TEL: 0734 303322
 
RELEASE DATE:
GENRE:
TEAM:
CONTROLS:
NUMBER OF DISKS:
NUMBER OF PLAYERS:
HARD DISK INSTALLABLE:
MEMORY:
 
MAY
SOCCER
IN HOUSE
JOYSTICK
2
8
NO
1Mb

 
GRAPHICS
SOUND
LASTABILITY
PLAYABILITY

92%
81%
86%
89%
A cracking good soccer game!
OVERALL: 87%