If you follow football, you won’t want reminding that our once-great footballing nation is now just a minnow in the realms of world soccer. Can you redress the balance with Tengen’s imminent boots ‘n’ ball release?

The Game Gear’s second football cart’s geared towards arcade action — you can’t foul or control throws, corners and goal kicks to any great extent — but you can pass the ball all over the park and whack some mean shots past the goalie!

World Cup Soccer presents three game types: exhibition, World Cup and two-player match (via the Gear-to-Gear cable). Options alter the difficulty level and match time.

Choose your team’s colour, its members, subs and tactics. There are four team formations and a squad of 15 players, whose skills are increased by spending experience points following a successful match.

Buttons pass and shoot when you’ve got the ball and tackle when you haven’t. To pass, run near the intended receiver and press the button. To shoot, just press the button within sight of goal, otherwise a stronger pass is made. Headers and overhead kicks are performed by striking the ball at the right angle in the air.

If the scores are level at full-time, you go into a penalty shoot-out. These really get the adrenalin pumping and it’s so frustrating to lose a World Cup Final on penalties.

Still, you’ve remembered that password so you can restart the match, can’t you? Oh well, it’s only four years till you get another chance!


What a tangled web these software houses weave: Sega sandwiched the words World Cup between Tecmo and ‘93 for the MS release, but now Domark have the rights for Game Gear and MD versions under the banner of Tengen World Cup Soccer.

Although the GG’s basically a handy-sized MS, many people forget it has a faster processor. The speedier graphics and sharper control response dramatically increase playability; it’s still an unsophisticated game design but fun with it.

Although only a couple of dozen pixels high, the footballer sprites are lifelike and move well. The pitch is pretty dull — what can you do with a slab of grass and a few white lines? — but it scrolls smoothly and keeps up with the ball. Realistic sound effects put the big match atmosphere into your hands.

If you haven’t bought Kick Off yet, you owe it to yourself to try both games before buying a football cart.

PAUL 80%

Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t this appear on the Master System as Tecmo World Cup ‘93? It’s improved since then — I gave the MS version a battering but enjoyed this one. Perhaps it’s because it’s been tarted up with fab digitised graphics and sound, and gameplay seems to flow faster

Passing and shooting’s the same and you can only score by letting rip with a 20-yard blaster outside the box, but more skill’s involved. At times I forgot about the shallow controls and became very excited — especially when I came back from 2-0 down to win the World Cup. The end sequence is brilliant and digitised pictures show what the GG can do.

Tengen World Cup is nowhere near as engrossing as Super Kick Off but if you prefer arcade-style sports, I recommend you give this a whirl.

MF Rating



Not quite in the same league as Super Kick Off but a definite contender for the cup

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