Copyright/Publisher: Gamestar, Created By: John Fitzpatrick & John Orr, Original Music By:
Release Year: 1984, Genre: American Football, Number Of Players: 0 to 2
American football is the game in question and this simulation is for two players or one
against the computer. Instead of the normal eleven players you only have four a side,
but this is about all you can control.
To start with you can choose a quarterback, wide receiver and tight end from the two of
each on offer. These have different characteristics and your choice will affect the type
of plays you should use.
Once your team is chosen and you've selected the length of the four quarters you can get into
the action. You start with the kick-off and from there on the offense (attaking team) always
faces up the screen. If you are receiving the kick, a player will automatically catch the
ball and you then control him to run back down the field, while the computer controls your other
You will be tackled and two bodies will splat audibly to the turf. You will now have
possession and can try to move the ball upfield. You're trying to score points by getting
a touchdown (like a try in rugby) worth 6, a fieldgoal (like a penalty or drop goal)
worth 3 or a safety worth 2. You can do this through a series of running and passing plays.
Progress is made in ten yard sections and you have four attempts or 'downs' to get more
than ten yards - if you make it, you get another four attempts. There is a pause before
each down, when the teams go into separate huddles to decide their next move. You must have the
play called and executed before a thirty second clock expires.
Once the play is underway you control the quarterback - the other players will run their
set routes and you have to time when to throw the ball, or whether to run with it instead.
A pass will give you control of the intended receiver who must move to catch the ball (you
hope) and run upfield with it.
Eventually you hope to get the ball into the opponents endzone for a touchdown and the
one point kick that follows. You can relieve tired players at the end of the third quarter
(there are four) and you can also have three timeouts per half to stop the game clock.
The player graphics are fairly simple on the all-green screen and there is only the
occasional start, finish and scoreboard tune to add to the tackle sound effect.
I don't know too much about American football, and I found this a difficult game to get
into. By removing the game's violence and adding some complex control, what do you
end up with... a fairly boring sports simulation.
At first I found the game disappointing because I was only playing against the
predictable computer. Once you gain reasonable control over your plays, a different
set of tactics and enjoyment reveal themselves. Non-fanatics probably won't like
the game because they'll have to learn too many complicated rules, but two football
fans playing against each other should find it very enjoyable. Certainly one worth
PLANNING YOUR PLAYS||
The offensive and defensive plays are fairly complicated at first and will take a lot of
practice to get used to. They differ according to whether you're attacking or defending
and involve choosing one of several types of play and then giving specific instructions
to each player.
The patterns that the players run are detailed in the instructions and once you've learnt
them you may be able to come up with quite complicated plays.
The diagrams and joystick controls will at first appear very confusing but perseverance
will reveal that the action is in fact fairly straightforward.
Once you've found a successful play against the computer you can simply keep
repeating it - something of a flaw in the game design. However human opponents will
prove more unpredictable.