Football’s a funny old game. Anyone who wants to do a game of it on a computer can be sure that they’ll come in for some stick if they don’t get the details right. You can kind of forgive the lack of an offside rule since not a lot of people understand it anyway, but the computer player being able to steal the ball from your free kick by standing a couple of feet away and just trapping it is a somewhat less forgivable feature.
Hurrican Software have gone out of their way to offer the best Amiga foortball game since the last Sensi, but have they managed to offer what Sensi couldn’t? Well, ETW is a far more modern game in the sense that it multitasks. You can install it to your hard drive and you can also select a screenmode for it to run in, rather than being forced to play it on a small, Low Res screen.
But, and it’s a big but, the playability isn’t quite at the same level. It’s still fun and Hurricane have added other bits to keep you interested, including the France ‘98 World Cup competition and the ability to play as The Simpsons (well, the Simmons actually, owing to copyright regulations) in an arcade match where the ball can’t go off the pitch and you can get power-ups which enable you to move swiftly or freeze the opposition.
There are several problems, the most important being control of your players. The game often won’t give you a player you can control on-screen, and the others don’t move in any sensible way.
Secondly, taking a throw-in, corner or free kick is something of a lottery since you can’t see enough of the pitch in Low Res mode to see the other players. Even if you can, the game doesn’t switch control to the player you’ve passed the ball to quickly enough to stop the other team from getting to it first most of the time.
Two player games are still a lot of fun, and while the commentary gets grating fairly swiftly, it's a nice touch...
Talking of Low Res mode, we’ve tried the game on a variety of machines and it’s the only way to play it. All our experiments on a range of graphics cards failed (very disappointing for me since I don’t have an AGA machine) and playing in a higher resolution AGA mode makes the game very sluggish and prone to graphical glitches. This may be preferable, however, to the flick screen method of scrolling around the pitch that the Low Res version suffers from.
So let’s say you just play in Low Res on an A1200. What can you expect? Well, forget about offside as I’ve said before. Forget about proper names for the footballers too, as the authors would be breaking Electronic Arts’ agreement with FIFA if they used real names, although you’re welcome to edit team and player names yourself.
Two player games are still a lot of fun, and while the commentary gets grating fairly swiftly, it’s a nice touch, as are the crowd chants that you can have instead. Eat the Whistle is still a good game, although those used to the polygon trickery of ISS Pro on the PlayStation, or even the last versions of Sensi for the Amiga, might feel let down by this game’s lacklustre performance against those other teams, Brian.