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Advertised as the long awaited follow up to Football Manager, but as far as I'm concerned it's just a follow up. In Football Manager you had a fair bit to see and do as you battled to win the FA cup and become top of the league. Software Star seems to follow a similar pattern of ideas and it sounds interesting in the instructions, but fails to shine due to the fact that you have relatively few decisions to make.
.

   

 

 
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!
Software Star
1985 Addictive Games
Programmed by Kevin Toms
 
Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the first issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (May 1985).
 

SOFTWARE STAR
Addictive Games, 7.95 cass, keys only


O Simple strategy game based on micro industry
.

This program comes from the same author as the enormously successful Football Manager and therefore promised much as a strategy game. Sadly, the premise hasn't been fulfilled.

You are placed in the role of a budding Kevin Toms, Tony Crowther, or Jeff Minter, who wants to get to number one in the charts and be famous. You start with one game appropriately called Software Star, which you have to sell in order to get to number one to attain stardom and profit.

Each game costs 10,000 to launch, at which time you can start development of another program. The quality of the software improves as monthly development continues until it is ready for launch and the critical gaze of the reviewers.

Marketing the game is your next task, where you have to try and improve productivity, sales, public image and advertising, to make your brainchild a bestseller.

The game development screen. 'Penn Invaders' has
only been under development two months -- release
it now and poor reviews are likely.

Productivity can be boosted or harmed by incentives, discipline or inaction, while your sales force can spread its attentions between four areas of the country. Your image can also be improved or damaged by being honest or hyping.

Now all you can do is sit back and watch your games climb up the charts. If sales are high enough, you'll match your overheads and make a profit. If you fail to make your profit target two years in a row, you'll be sacked.

Your other aim is to achieve ten months of stardom, which is done by keeping your games in the top three. Once you reach ten, you are set a target of 20 months, then 30 and so on. As with Football Manager, there is a save game option allowing you to play some very long games.

BW
.


Fans of
Football Manager will find this an exceptionally disappointing follow up. This is just a simple strategy game with little control over what you really want to do. With not much real action going on in this one, this is perhaps a game for a boring, rainy Sunday.
.

 


ADVERTISING PATH TO SUCCESS

The advertising section of the game is the most crucial and will determine your success or failure. Deciding when to really push a game is judged by three main factors.

In the winter months the market is very large, so plenty of advertising can reap bug rewards, whereas the summer is a bad time to spend a lot of money.

Games also have a limited shelf life and after four of five months won't be selling enough to justify advertising them. Finally, quality will also affect your policy, since good programs will be worth selling hard and even a mediocre one can be hyped to the top of the charts.
.

 


Many software houses will wish that their job was as easy as in this game because you spend most of your time just hitting the return key. The excellent presentation covers lots of interesting areas but it just doesn't give you enough to do. The most exciting thing is watching your games flip up the charts but even that pales after four or five number ones. In

Football Manager you felt like you were really controlling things but Software Star doesn't give you that same feeling of power. Nevertheless, on the harder levels you still face a reasonable challenge and this game will probably make a showing in the charts itself.
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PRESENTATION
ORIGINALITY
82% The screens are very well laid out.
68%
A new idea for a business simulation.
GRAPHICS
HOOKABILITY
15% There is no real graphic engine.
48%
Some initial fascination to reach number one.
SOUND
LASTABILITY
3%
Only a few beeps as the chart is formed.
41%
Not enough to do to keep you hooked.
VALUE FOR MONEY
43% Not nearly as good as Football Manager.

 

Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (4 April 2001)

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