MicroProse Soccer was developed by Sensible Software and is the forerunner to the UK studio’s hugely influential 16-bit classic Sensible Soccer. The original version launched on the Commodore 64, but it was ported to a myriad of systems, including the Amiga, Amstrad, Atari ST, MS-DOS, and ZX Spectrum.
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MicroProse Soccer was notable for simulating a full 11-a-side game of football with a top-down view, and included a simple control scheme that revolved around tapping or holding down the fire button for passes and shots. You could push diagonally to curl the ball – an after-touch feature that would go on to be used in Sensible Soccer.
Kristan Reed wrote about MicroProse Soccer for Eurogamer back in 2007:
“Predating Sensible’s more famous football game by almost four years, the option to play an indoor or outdoor version (on either side of the disk or tape) made this especially appealing, and great value for money. In raw gameplay terms, MicroProse Soccer was a deliberately comical affair, with no attempt to provide anything even approaching the ‘realism’ found later games.
“With a disproportionately large match ball, hilariously over-the-top banana shots, exaggerated sliding tackles and thunder storms liable to cause chaos in the middle of a match, games were often more memorable for what went wrong rather than how many goals were scored.”
The video below, from YouTube channel Major Thriftwood, shows gameplay of the Commodore 64 version:
MicroProse Soccer’s Steam launch is the work of Ziggurat Interactive, a new retro game publisher that picked up the rights to multiple game licenses. It launched four retro sports games on Steam last week: 4th & Inches, Fast Break, TKO and MicroProse Soccer.