World Cup Carnival

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World Cup Carnival
Cover art
Developer(s)Artic Computing
Publisher(s)U.S. Gold
SeriesFIFA World Cup
Platform(s)Amstrad CPC
Commodore 64
ZX Spectrum
Genre(s)Traditional soccer simulation

World Cup Carnival is a football video game for Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum released in 1986.


This is the first World Cup franchise game, and is based on 1986 FIFA World Cup.

While the license was acquired with time to spare and was carefully planned, internal problems plagued the project's development until it could not be completed anywhere near a commercially usable date. As Mexico '86 was coming closer, U.S. Gold decided to acquire the rights of an older game, Artic Computing's 1984 title World Cup Football, re-fit it with the properly licensed items, and market it as a revolutionary new title. However, this late effort was received with cynicism from all in the video game industry: gamers, retailers and reviewers alike, and started a trend of "less than what was expected" games based on football licenses. Several magazines of the time printed angry letters from people who had bought the game.

Ten teams (Uruguay, Italy, Germany, Brazil, England, Argentina, France, Spain, Mexico and Scotland) are available in the Commodore 64 and Amstrad CPC versions of the game while all 24 teams that played in the 1986 World Cup are available in the ZX Spectrum version. For all three platforms only 8 of these teams can be selected for the actual World Cup mode. Additionally, there is a training mode that includes penalty taking in all three versions. Matches last for 3 minutes, and there is no ability to change formation settings etc.


The game was packaged with many extras including a World Cup wallchart, a sew-on badge and poster.

Despite being a World Cup game released in England, the box features an image of a Brazilian Fluminense FC torcida crowd.


At the time of its release Zzap!64 awarded the C64 version of the game an overall score of just 11%.[citation needed] Crash scored the ZX Spectrum version 26% and the reviewer stated "This is the worst football simulation I have ever seen".[citation needed] MobyGames awards the game 2.5/5.[citation needed]

Follow up games[edit]

US Gold developed a game for the next World Cup but did not win the official licence. They still released Italy 1990 but the official tie-in, World Cup Soccer: Italia '90 was released by Virgin Mastertronic.

See also[edit]

Preceded by
FIFA World Cup official licensed video game
Succeeded by
World Cup Soccer: Italia '90