Footballer Of The Year
Copyright/Publisher: Gremlin Graphics, Music By: Ben Dalglish,
Release Year: 1986, Genre: Football/Soccer, Number Of Players: 1

This program started out as the design for a traditional board game, before Gremlin snapped it up and turned it into a computer game.

You start off as an ambitious seventeen-year-old footballer with a burning desire to become Footballer Of The Year. All you have yo help you achieve this goal is 5.000 in cash, ten goal cards and of course...your feet!

First of all you have to decide which of the five divisions you wish to play in - the higher the division, the tougher the going. However, a player from the lower divisions is unlikely to win the Footballer Of The Year competition, so the choice must be made very carefully.

The action begins after you've made your selection and chosen a team. The screen displays seven easy-to-use icons; a Globe, a Footballer's Head, a Scroll, a Question Mark, a Football Boot, a Disk and a Dead Footballer. The first two options can be accessed to reveal the league position and morale of your team, your financial and personal status and the number of goals you've scored - the Disk and Dead Footballer icons are used to load/save or quit a game respectively. The other three icons form the action section of the program.

The Question Mark conceals 'incident cards' which cost 200 each. When the icon is accessed, an incident occurs and a card is displayed - money can be won or lost, transfers obtained and extra goal cards collected depending on the card 'turned'.

The Scroll icon gives the player the chance to buy a transfer opportunity, although this option is a bit pricey - 2.000 to 10.000 depending on which division you're in.

The final icon, the Boot, leads to the football field. Selecting it reveals the player's financial situation and offers the chance to buy more goal cards. The computer chooses the match, and decides the number of shots the player gets at goal if a card is cahsed in (between one and three shots per match).

A short arcade sequence follows, in which the player gets to shoot at the goalmouth after having positioned the ball. Occasionally, defenders try to intercept the attack, forcing the player to make a snap decision about where to place his shot. When all the shots have been taken the result is printed on a teleprinter and the main menu is displayed once more. Experience is gained is the season progresses, and depending on how you and your team play you could well win promotion. You might even have the opportunity to play for your country, and maybe, just maybe, you could win the coveted position of Footballer of the Year...

To give credit where credit's due, Footballer of the Year is simple to use and fun to play. Unfortunelately it hs one large drawback - it's far too easy. The problem lies with the way that the game works - you can continually select incident cards until you have hundreds of thousands of pounds in your bank account and loads of goal cards.

Another annoying aspect is that if you collect more then 99 goal cards, the counter returns to zero and they're lost - what a stinker. Graphically and aurally the game is alright, and there's enough interest generated to keep a football fan happy for a couple of days. Whether or not this amount of entertainment is worth a tenner is entirely up to you...


INTRO SCREEN

PRESENTATION 86%
HOOKABILITY 78%
LASTABILITY 51%
VALUE 56%
OVERALL 64%