World of Soccer logo

Prepare yourself for the shortest review ever to grace the pages of AP. World of Soccer is crap. It's overpriced, it's boring and it's got one of the worst front ends that I've ever seen on any type of game. Ever. Review over.

You want to know more? Okay, let's start with the preliminaries. World of Soccer is a football management game. It's been written in Hi-Soft Basic and pays about a s much attention to detail as Wile E Coyote does to safety.

You know that you're in for a treat from the very beginning. About thirty seconds after booting up, you're requested to click the left mouse button. For no reason whatever. Around twenty seconds later, a title screen appears. It's so poor it's laughable. It's got to be a joke - it looks like the first lesson you ever took in dithering with D-Paint 4, but worse. Far worse.

Title screens are supposed to build a sense of anticipation in the nervously eager gamer. World of Soccer's induces a sense of humorous dread of what's to come. Unsurprisingly, the game delivers with a pathetic aplomb akin to the murmurings of a dejected puppy dog.

After choosing to continue with a saved game or start anew, you're faced with a poorly designed front end. Take a look at the screenshots. I've spared you nothing and deliberately flagged the opening screen.

Spit at it on the page. Show your friends. Let them know that games like these are the enemy of innovation and progress. They're a retrograde step. It's almost as if the programmers had decided to incorporate everything shoddy and lacklustre they could think of into one game.

Pathetic aplomb akin

If you think I'm going overboard, consider this. There are thirteen optimistically-named icons on the bottom of the screen, allowing you to access various parts of the game, as per usual. But they're not icons. They're words. Words like "(R)eview" to review your next fixture, and, er, "(K)" to save or load your game. Take a moment to guess how the icons work. Hands up all those who suggested something along the lines of typing the bracketed letter? Nope, sorry, wrong.

In fact, you click within the bracket (there's no keyboard option). Now, I'm not a game designer, but I do know that I'm being forced to work at least twice as hard as I should. If you're going to decorate icons with letters, make their function accessible from the keyboard as well. Alternatively, and prepare yourself for a bit of radical thinking here, why not have icons that are little pictures hinting at their function? Hmm?

You can choose to become manager of several clubs, many of which are in foreign leagues. Being a Scotsman, I naturally chose the Scottish league. Only it was spelled 'Scotish', and it consisted of sixteen teams. Surely, as they say, that's a foul ref. I relented a bit when I saw that Kilmarock (Nngh. - Ed) was rated as one of the 'strong' teams. But the next moment the kindly, avuncular smile had slipped away. The game assigns these strengths randomly. It doesn't even have the decency to make a half-hearted attempt at naming any of the proper players for each team. You're supposed to do that yourself.

I could go on, but frankly folks it just isn't worth t. Games like this are the enemy of the Amiga market. The saddest thing about the while affair is that this game will probably sell quite a few units because it's got 'Soccer' in the title. That means that there's going to be less money around for good games like or or even Empire's World Cup Year '94 compilation. Please don't buy this. It's absolutely awful.

World of Soccer logo

Small world, funny old game.

When it was announced that England were to stage the European Championships this summer, you could almost hear half the nation crying into their mugs of tea. Dissenting voices voiced their concern that football coverage on television would mean no Coronation Street, no Eastenders and Brookside, ironically ruing the day when there would be nothing decent on TV.

Conversely, footy fans were ecstatic and rubbed their hands with glee, laughing at the misfortune of those who would prefer to discover which pig Robbie was chasing rather than sing 'Three Lions' for two weeks solid and cheering Tel's white and blue army on to semi-final anticlimax. Which was when the laughter stopped.

Everything suddenly paled into insignificance when Southgate's penalty was saved and while couch potatoes lauded the return of their daily fix of soaps, quiz shows and TV films, footy fans turned in desperation to their Amigas, PCs and next generation consoles, replaying England versus Germany in a futile bid to overturn the result until their eyes and fingers bled. Needless to say without much success.

So now, in a desperate attempt to temper footy fans' disappointment at there being no football on TV until the middle of August, the people's champion AMIGA POWER proudly presents exclusive coverage of a footy game, unearthed from the vaults of Electronic Boutique (what a silly name).

(The trusty Sportsnight theme tune plays while ice-skaters, cricketers, footballers and snooker players use their various pieces of equipment to spell S-P-O-R-T-S-N-I-G-H-T. Cut to studio).
Des Lynam: "Hi there. Tonight we'll be focussing our attention on a football management sim which could soon be challenging Premier Manager 3 for title honours... but more of that later. First we've a special treat for our viewers who own Amiga home computers. Alan and Jimmy will be here for their comments later but watching World of Soccer for us earlier this evening were... John Motson and Trevor Brooking".

Motty: "Just looking at the box before the game loads up, it looks as though we've a feast of football to look forward to. Featuring 240 clubs from 15 countries, I'm going to be taking responsibility of a club from one of the five Premier Leagues in either England, Germany, Italy, Spain or Argentina. There'll be the chance to win three major titles - the League Championship, League Cup and the World Cup - one of which I'm sure has been made up, unless I'm very mistaken."

While couch potatoes lauded

"We've just had to click the mouse so kick-off can only be a few seconds away now. Just to reiterate then for the viewers at home. I'll be assuming the position of an 'out of work' and inexperienced manager scanning the vacancies for a club to manage. If successful, my career and reputation will become enchanted which, in turn, will lead to more exciting opportunities such as joining a big club. Failure, however, will result in me being given the sack. Trevor, your thoughts?"

Trevor: "Well, I noticed you mentioned a big club back there. A bit like me old club West Ham. A-ha".

Motty: Quite. Thanks Trevor. Well, World of Soccer has just kicked off and questions are already being asked of my preferred skill level. There are five to choose from, ranging between Novice and World Class, and oh, now I'm being told to choose a club. Sunderland looks good. But they don't want me. Let's try Aston Villa. Hang on, they're prepared to offer me a two-year contract. Trevor?"

Trevor:"Well, that's a turn up for the books. I actually turned down Aston Villa and Sunderland to strengthening the attack or defence to altering the speed with the match is played. There's a rather fussy method of showing the formation too which isn't very helpful. Still the match commentary is clear enough, if a little basic, and is currently telling me that I'm leading Manchester by three goals to nil. And now it's finished 6-2 which was a bit sudden, and not even particularly enjoyable. Looking at the league table I'm top after one match which bodes well but as Brian Clough once said: The league isn't a sprint - it's a marathon. ". Ole Big 'Ead, eh Trevor?

Trevor: "Dog and bone."

Motty: "We didn't really know what to expect from World of Soccer but one thing certainly sticks in the kind - for all its good intentions it seemed to buckle under the pressure once it was asked to provide entertainment. It will be interesting to hear what Alan and Jimmy thought of the game later."

Faced with all the players

(Back in the studio.)
Des: "Well Alan, what did you make of World of Soccer's performance tonight?"

Alan: "I have to be honest, I thought it was bitterly disappointing. It can only be bad news for the Amiga. I mean, what you've got ask yourself is where was the entertainment? If you pay good money you expect to be entertained and as John said, it had a lot of good intentions, but it simply can't compete alongside many of the more expensive footy many games available for fun. For me, I expected to witness something a little more innovative than the lousy gameplay, shoddy graphics and downright pathetic piece of software that was out there on display tonight."

Des: "What about you Jimmy?"

Jimmy: "Well, like Alan said, it was a desperate attempt to fool people into thinking it's worth buying."

Des: "And marks out of 100?"

Alan: "Eleven. There's no excuse for this sort of thing."

Des: "Heh-heh, thank you gentlemen."