It is a funny old game, Brian. Months without a footie sim and then two arrive at once (Microprose Soccer & Kick Off). None of that management non-sense here either: just charging around a pitch tackling, dribbling, shooting, saving and scoring.
Two varieties of the game are included: outdoor (British style, the more familiar kind) and indoor six-a-side (US style, a fast game on a smaller pitch). The pitch is viewed from above and scrolls in all directions, with goals situated at top and bottom of the play area.
You can choose to take part in several types of tournament: these range from the full-blown World Cup Finals, via a league or a two-player friendly fixture to an individual challenge tournament in which the player attempts to beat progressively harder teams. These competitions remain the same for both types of soccer, with two or more players able to take part in all but the challenge.
During the game you control a single player, and switching between team members can be manual or automatic. Possession is gained by running into a loose ball or tackling the player with the ball. The ball sticks to the ends of a player's boots until he is tackled or kicks it, so dribbling is easy.
Kicks are split into three types: volleys, chips and banana shots. The banana shots can be quite spectacular, but they bend far more than a real ball would. The computer opponents range from kickabouts-in-the-park to the I-cost-£3million-and-you're-five-nil-down superteams.
One of the annoying features of Microprose Soccer is that you can run straight through the man in possession without actually tackling him. To tackle, the fire button has to be pressed. It is not a serious pain, but this and several other factors make it lose out to Kick Off in the 'best footie game' stakes. The larger graphics merely reduce the on-screen playing area and do not improve the gameplay at all. The action is much slower as well, losing the adrenalin rush of non-stop action.
This is not a bad game, but it just is not as good as Kick Off. It has more features though: the indoor league is of particular interest, and the different types of competition add interest too.