European 5-A Side
Copyright/Publisher: Silverbird, Release Year: 1988,
Genre: Football/Soccer, Number Of Players: 1 or 2

Ere we go, 'ere we go, 'ere we go! What we have here is a vertically scrolling overhad view of a five-a-side pitch: you can play against a friend or take on a computer opponent in a game consisting of two halves of three, five or ten minutes, on any colour pitch you prefer. When all adjustments have been made, play begins.

Control is much the same as other footy simulations, in that the computer automatically selects the player nearest to the ball and places him under your control. The goalie can be made to dive by holding the fire button and moving in the appropriate direction. At the end of the game the final whistle blows and the winner is declared.

The sound and graphics of European 5-A Side are incredibly poor, and this is echoed in the gameplay. The computer takes a long time to decide which player should be under your control, but this doesn't make any difference because the computer players are so bad.

There is only one difficulty setting and I managed to beat the computer player 30-nil on my first game! The two player option isn't much better, since the action is so unrealistic. There have been some abysmal football simulations on the 64 but this has got to be the worst! Forget it.

Are poorly conceived and unplayable games making a comeback this month? European 5-A Side might make you think so: it's got porky computer footballers trotting up and down a single screen width pitch to deathly silence. They're pretty thick, too - it's possible to keep possession of the ball by just standing still!

Scoring is incredibly easy - just zig-zag up or down the pitch, as appropriate, and boot the ball straight in the net. The walled-in effect doesn't add to the fun (not that there's any in the first place), and neither does the completely vertical lob. If you're into 5-a-side soccer, you won't be after playing this.


One difficulty setting and very poor control.
Garish, blocky and unconvincing sprites with a monochromatic backdrop. Very poor.
An infuriating title ditty and scratchy effects.
The unruly control causes instant frustration.
Once played, never again!
Definitely not for fans of the sport.