4 Soccer Simulators
Copyright/Publisher: Codemasters, Coding & Graphics By: Codemasters Squad,
Designed By: Gaxx, Pete, Mike, Rick, Music By: Matt Gray & David Whittaker,
Release Year: 1989, Genre: Football/Soccer, Number Of Players: 1 or 2

And as you join us halfway through the second half of the match, it's Beardsley with the ball, on to Barnes, who sends it back to Aldridge. A flick on to Rsuh and...GOAL!!!

Yes, there's nothing like a Saturday afternoon game of footy. Shivering in the old shorts, six inches deep in mud, and God knows what else. If you enjoy the game, but aren't really keen on total physical collapse, Codemasters come to the rescue with their compilation of soccer games to test your skill, stamina and joystick dexterity.

In no particular order, the four titles are: 11-A-Side Soccer (yer average kickabout, with ten kickers and one catcher each side), Indoor Soccer (5-A-Side footer in the gym, bouncing the ball off walls), Street Soccer (ask the lads round, smash a few windows and generally cause a bit of aggro as you knock a ball around the roads) and Soccer Skills.

That last one is where it starts to get a bit more complicated. Basically, you take your pick from several practice options (ball control, goalkeeping, penalty taking, sprint training, press-ups, bar jumps, weight lifts, situps and bar lifts - just a few, there) or go the whole hog for a complete circuit training session against the clock.

Apart from the Soccer Skills title, which involves the usual Decathlon run-your-joystick- into-the-ground style of play, the rest of the game all stick to the same basic rule: kick the football around the field (or road), and attempt to score as many goals as possible to defeat the oppposing team.

There are all the usual freekicks (behave badly or do a Maradona handball and your punishment is one of those), corners, goalkicks, throw-ins and penalties and yoy can pick auto or manual selection of players. In a manual game you can decide whether your team's playing tactics should be attack or defend.

And if you haven't worked off all your excess aggression after all of that... well, your name must be Brian Clough, mate.

With the exception of Soccer Skills, which is a poor relation of the Decathlon genre, all the other games are exactly the same, but with differing amounts of players and changing backgrounds.

Sprite movement is awful, joystick control being excessively responsive, and the whole thing looks like a mish-mash of budget titles, thrown together to represent value for money. It doesn't.

Interesting, this: the players rush about as if they were on the end of the Benny Hill Show, and the ball defies the laws of physics regularly, arching off in some amazing direction.

And if that isn't enough, my men kept disappeating at crucial moments of the game. Not one I can recommend, especially when the likes of Emlyn Hughes International Soccer are available at the same price.


Four player option, concise instructions and an unusual, book-like options menu plus glossy photo poster.
Well below average characters tear around gaudy, blocky backdrops.
Mildly boppy title tune which quickly aggravates, coupled with unimpressive cheering noises.
The front end attracts more attention than the games themselves.
Footy fan or not, there just isn't enough to keep anyone hooked.
A package which would be of questionable value at budget price, never mind a tenner.