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When I first saw this I thought it was going to be another
Football Manager, but it's not. In fact it's a very simple simulation where all the player has to do is choose how they would like their team to play. There aren't many other things to vary the gameplay, apart from the odd newsflash or managerial decision, but it is still fun to play, especially with a load of friends. The asking price is a bit steep, since it's more of a party game than a single player one. Personally I think Football Manager is still the best of the football simulations (in terms of strategy); perhaps this is the one for the youngsters or computer novices?
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Welcome to Game of the Week! Each week there will be a new featured game on this page. The game may be good, average or diabolically bad, it really doesn't matter! Just look at the pics, read the text and enjoy the nostalgia! :-) Game of the Week! is open to contributions so if you would like to contribute a game article for this page you're more than welcome to! Every article we receive will be considered!
FA Cup Football
1986 Virgin Games
Programmed by ?
 
Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the twelfth issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (street date: March 13th, 1986).
 


ZZAP!'s one and only football fan/hooligan, Jazza Riggas, takes a break from causing trouble on Shrewsbury Town's terraces and casts a beady eye over Virgin's latest footy simulation.
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FA CUP FOOTBALL
Virgin, 7.95 cass, keys only


Unlike most football simulation, FA Cup Football concentrates solely on the prestigious footballing event of the year: the FA Cup. The game is a very simple one, rather than choosing the players you want to field and worrying about transfers and the like, FACF just asks the player(s) to choose the tactics of their teams (either attacking, defensive or balanced).

Once loaded, the number of players (from 1 to 8) and their initials are typed in. The players can then select the eight teams they would like to manage from a pool of 124 (the players take turns in choosing). Every league team and all the good non-league teams are listed in the program, but if the local side doesn't appear then the name of one of the listed teams can always be changed. By the way, don't expect any local team to do amazingly well -- all the results are calculated on the ability of the teams in real life, and a changed name team is automatically given the ratings of a non-league side. So, when Liverpool do battle with the Ludlow Lethargics, don't expect miracles!

Once everyone has chosen their teams, the FA Cup competition can begin. The players can choose either to start from the first round (non-league and third and fourth division sides only), or from the third round (all league and non-league teams). Either option leads to a cup draw. When this takes place two numbered balls spin onto the top of the screen, and the teams with the corresponding numbers play against each other.

The computer then goes through the matches one at a time, quickly flicking through computer vs computer matches, but stopping when a player's team crops up. Here the relevant player has to choose the tactics of his/her team, either attacking (4-2-4), defending (4-4-2) or balanced (4-3-3). Occasionally a newsflash crops up and is displayed at the bottom of the screen.

Once all the team's tactics have been decided then the matches commence. Eight matches are shown at once, although the screen display can be cycled during play to show the other matches. A timer constantly ticks away throughout this period so the players know exactly how much match time has elapsed. All the scores constantly update themselves, so during this part of the program the players just have to sit and bite their nails.

The time goes pretty slowly, but it can be speeded up by holding the space bar down. Once the full ninety minutes have been played all the scores can be viewed, prior to the replays, which are played in the same manner as before.

When the round has been fully completed the game reverts to the cup draw screen and the next round is compiled. As the rounds progress, managerial problems become more apparent. The tactics chosen for teams can be changed at half time and at semi-final and final levels at quarter time. Substitutes are also introduced, and the player is given the option to field them.

       

Starting at round five are questions which try to test a player's managerial experience. For example a star player could ask for an immediate transfer. What happens? The player has to choose what he thinks is the right decision from the three options provided. As the players approach the cup final, increasing numbers of questions are asked, and if a wrong decision is made it can effect the outcome of the match.

When the final occurs, match updates, state of pitch, players etc are constantly printed out so the players know exactly what's going on. The winner of the match is printed up on-screen in porky fat letters, and the border flashes until somebody presses a key, whereupon the program resumes to its post-loading title screen.

   


Presentation 79%
Attractive screen layout and informative instructions.

Authenticity 93%
Very realistic results, just like a true FA cup competition.

Playability 78%
The game is rather simple, but still enjoyable to play.

Value For Money 70%
Perhaps the asking price is over the top for what it has to offer.

Overall 71%
One for the kiddies/parties perhaps?

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Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (29 Jan 2005)

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