Assuming you know everything about the inflated bovine bladder and the Colin Moynihan Identikit, I will skip the rules of soccer and get on with what this game has to offer. World Championship Soccer offers a choice of one-off and one or two-player games (test matches) of football between international sides or a competition series not dissimilar from the World Cup itself. It is an elimination league split into six groups. Teams take part in three days worth of qualifying games. Extra time is never added on. In the event of a full-time tie, penalties decide the winner.
Whether you are playing a friend or the computer, you can always check on the progress of other teams between matches and this is where WCS scores highly. Where it does not show ingenuity is in its striking similarity with Kick Off 2.
The inevitable comparison comes from the fact that Elite's new soccer game uses a free-scrolling overhead display of around one sixth of the pitch, uses floating arrows to indicate selected players and boasts a superimposed inset of the whole pitch to display the positions of the players, not to mention similar joystick control features. For gameplay alone, the comparison is unfavourable to WCS. Tackling and dribbling the ball seems more difficult, as does taking a corner. Passing is easier but the old one-two still takes some practice to pull off.
The twenty-four teams you have stored seem to have something in common with their real-life counterparts. In other words, do not take on Italy in your first test match or you will lose eleven-nil.
It is nice to be able to pick out a team of players whose names you will recognise from a full-size squad, even if you cannot be certain that the Lineker and Gazza you get on the pitch will play like the men themselves. It is a shame though, that you are limited to two forwards, four mid-fielders and four defenders, no matter which team or which squad you pick. Surely, along with the rest of the selection process, this would have been one of the primary reasons for choosing WCS as opposed to one of the many other contenders in the football-simulation field.
But the game is eminently playable, slickly presented and adequately documented. The gripes listed though, are inevitable. From Elite's point of view, they have converted a Sega game and could not therefore bolt on anything they might have liked to. But from the buyer's perspective, you would have to be seriously interested in soccer games themselves to add this to any similar titles in your collection. If you have not got a soccer game yet but are thinking about it, Kick Off 2 has the better gameplay, but WCS's competition features offer the solo player a considerable challenge.