|Designer(s)||Jon Hare (graphics)
Chris Yates (code)
|Mode(s)||Single player, 2 player|
Microprose Soccer is a soccer videogame published by Microprose in 1988. The original Commodore 64 version was developed by Sensible Software, with conversions carried out to other formats. It is the fore-runner of the 16-bit classic Sensible Soccer. In the United States the game was released under a title Keith Van Eron's Pro Soccer.
Playing the game
The game can simulate a full 11-a-side game of football on a grass pitch, or 6-a-side soccer, based on the American indoor league of the time.
A single player can work through a World Cup (or Indoor League) tournament, or take on a series of increasingly tougher computer teams. A two-player friendly can be played head to head.
The control method was designed to be as simple as possible, lending itself to fast and flowing football (in the manner of the later Sensible Soccer). A quick tap of the fire button passed forward, a longer hold of the button chipped the ball at height. Pushing backwards and fire did an overhead kick. Pushing forwards and fire took a shot.
Most unusual was the "banana kick", the strength of which could be varied among three settings in the options menu. By pushing diagonally as a shot was taken, the ball would swerve in the air to get round defenders and goalkeeper. Rival game Kick Off would also add this after-touch feature.
Most versions featured a simulated "action replay" after a goal was scored, with the C64 version featuring black & white stripes to resemble a video rewinding.
Like many Sensible games, there are elements of humour. The simulated weather of the outdoor game can cause a player making a sliding tackle to spin around furiously, or slide miles past the intended target. Martin Galway provided several funny jingles and sound effects for the C64 version.
Zzap 64 gave 90% for the game. The users of Lemon64 website have voted the game to the top 100 list of C64 games.
The 16-bit conversions of the game however, did not receive much attention.
The game was voted Best 8-bit Simulation of the Year at the Golden Joystick Awards. In the Spectrum sales charts, it was number two, behind Robocop, which was number one every month for most of the year.
Preview pictures of the game appeared in an issue of ZZAP! 64 magazine, with a plea for a publisher to come forward.
Microprose published the game in its traditional large-format cardboard box and added a big manual, with a history of football and the World Cup.
Developers the Electronic Pencil Company were responsible for the Amiga and Atari ST versions. The programmer created a 6502 emulator, transferring the game code and logic to the 16-bit machines.
There is a modified version for Italy 90 World Cup, for USA 94 World Cup, for Korea-Japan 2002 World Cup  for the Germany 2006 World Cup and another for South Africa 2010 world cup. These versions were made by retro game enthusiast thus indicating the lasting popularity of the game.
- Microprose Soccer at ysrnry.co.uk
- Microprose Soccer at homepages.tesco.net/~parsonsp
- Microprose Soccer - Italy 1990 at s64.emuunlim.com
- USA World Cup 1994 Microprose Soccer at noname.c64.org
- Korea-Japan 2002 World Cup at noname.c64.org
- Germany World Cup 2006 Microprose Soccer at noname.c64.org
- South Africa 2010 World Cup at noname.c64.org