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Soccer Rivals on the Spectrum


Review by Madstedotcom
Two things I have always enjoyed were Footie manager games and board games so you can only imagine my joy when I discovered this game which basically combines the two. The game is played by three rival managers, with the option for the computer to control the other two. Each player takes it in turn to move their marker around the board. Each square then allows you to carry out different management tasks like buying or selling players, upgrading the ground or training. There are also more board game style ones like a “chance” square which can either have a positive or negative effect on your finances or playing squad. Another allows you to play a skill game for monetary gain by shooting a ball against a moving target. Then there’s my favourite the death square, land here and a player dies. Its always seems to be your best player and as a further kick in the teeth you get to pay compo to his family as well.

After everyone has moved its match day, so select your team from your players who are all named after their position, which must make substitutions confusing. You can then either see the result or highlights. The highlights are really poor and just show one player trying to control the ball then kick it the right way. Also if you want highlights you need to manually select the option via the menus before each game.

You then rinse and repeat until the end of time. It is worth noting like other management games at the time regardless of what team you pick you will start in the fourth division and each division only has 8 teams, which means you can really speed through the seasons.

The graphics are functional and do what is required of them, there is no real flair or excellence here. However they are colourful and crisp.

While a interesting idea the games does suffer due to the nature of board games, for example you may need to sell a player but you can’t do that until you land on the correct square with could take several turns/games. The game also gives the impression that if you play it for long enough you will win the first division. This is not helped by the fact your players do not age.

There is no music only bleeps. The bleeps are annoying too, play with sound off.

Like most management games from this era it has not aged well when compared to modern Football Manager games. I think if you played this or similar games it has aged ok but a newcomer would probably turn it off within minutes.

A novel concept which can provide some short term fun but the longer you play the more frustrating it becomes. I’m sure it would be loads of fun played with some friends and the banter that would create.

SoccerScoreI have enjoyed replaying the game in short bursts via the Marvin emulator on my phone during breaks in work but could not sit down and play this at home. If you are looking for a time killer on your phone could be worth a try if you like management games.

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