Format reviewed: Commodore 64
Developer: Sensible Software
I received my C64 at the tail-end of the machine’s life as a hand-me-down from my cousins, and as a result I got to experience Commodore gaming through the lens of their interests. What this meant is that I got loads of sports games, and particularly football games – but most of them were management games, or oddities like Gary Lineker’s Superskills. As I dug my way through the pile of tapes over a series of days, I started getting a little bit desperate for a football game that actually let me get on the pitch and play. That’s when I found Microprose Soccer.
As a console kid, it took a lot for a game to impress me on a graphical level, but Microprose Soccer managed with smooth scrolling, replays (with that excellent tape rewind effect) and a big goal celebration visual. But I quickly discovered that it was more than just a pretty game. Every other football game I’d played at the time took a side-on view of the pitch, but Microprose Soccer made more sense to me as a top-down game. What’s more, it felt more realistic than anything else I’d ever played – I could play matches in the rain and the game even let me do some of the things I wasn’t nearly skilled enough to do in real life, like curling shots. It’s no surprise that Microprose Soccer quickly became my football game of choice, and I suspect it would have done so even with a bit more competition in my collection.