Trevor Brooking's World Cup Glory
Copyright/Publisher: Challenge Software, Release Year: 1991,
Genre: Football/Soccer, Number Of Players: 1

Exciting. Witty. Dynamic. These aren't the first words that spring to mind when you thin about Trevor Brooking. I remember he scored a goal for England once but can't recall who it was against. Or when. Brian Clough once said of him: "Trevor Brooking floats like a butterfly... and stings like ine."

But what about his role as soccer pundit? Well, Trev can often be heard making bellyachingly funny comments from the studio and the stands, many of which cause people to split their sides... Challeng Software has taken the very essence of the man and distilled it into this game in the form of match commentary work.

These pithy remarks not only convey advice on team tactic, but are also astonishgly faitful to the the exsupremo's dialogue. Taking a random example from the game itself will give you some idea. At half time during one match England were beating Albania 2-1 and our Trev came up with this summary: 'England will be concerned with this performance. Albania's right wing looked great, and Albania have had the better possession.' Sparkling pearls of wisdom indeed.

Forget about Trev (he's not a major part of the game anyway) because behind the charisma lurks a half-decent strategy game. Once you've selected one of five skill levels and entered you own name, the game loads six menu choices: play a match, coach the team, select the squad, examine the groups and the teams and in information screen. You can't play a match until you've selected your squad and decided on positions and substitutes; but first check out your opponents and fixtures.

The in-game action is conveyed by a radio-style line-by-line commentary, with the minutes counting down at the top of the screen (much faster than real time), information is given on goals, corners, free kicks, penalties and general possession - all the highlights of a normal footy game.

It's all very similar to Tracksuit Manager, except the presentation isn't quite so polished. If you enjoy text-based soccer strategy and you're patient with a somestimes awkward menu/selection system, there's more than enough depth to keep you occupied. There are some nice touches but there aren't enough of them to justify shelling out a tenner for it.

No sound effects or music.

No action sequences: strategy is totally text-based.

Has an occasional but nasty habit of crashing.

No frills: the selection screens are merely functional and look like something fron ancient history.

Game is slow to calculate the consequences of your selections.

Much better alternatives already available.

Five difficulty levels.

The wide variety of teams, players and management.

If you get hooked, you'll stay hooked.

Nice in-game touches like the radio-style commentary.



This is the mean menu screen (Nice one Sherlock - Ed). From here you select your team and get them fit for the ensuing season.
When you start training you need to specify how many hours you want to allocate and you are then told how effective it's been.
Here's a bland little screen. This tells you which other teams are in your particular group... if you're particularly interested.
See those blobs along the top? That's about as graphical as it gets. Still, who needs fancy graphics when you've got a team list as comprehensive as this? (Er the readers possibly).