It's a funny old game: yep, the grinning Scot and the balding one who spouts amazingly unfunny catchphrases like 'funny old game' are here with yet another footy trivia game. The Idea is simple. Answer 42 questions, and the player with the highest points score wins the League Championship.
Enter the number of players, the names and the difficulty level (easy, medium or hard). You're then faced with a representation of a footy pitch, a fluctuating bar in the center of the screen and digitised piccys of the daring duo in the left corner. The idea is to press the fire button to choose a question type: Home (scoring 1 point), Away (2 points) and Derby (3 points).
You then see a player standing in front of a goal mouth. One of the terrible twosome appears to ask a question - sometimes you have the choice to play or pass, other times the question is a true or false. A timer on the right of the screen ticks down whilst you scan through three possible answers (except in true or false). Then a press on the fire button sends the ball winging its way to the goalie, of course if the answer is correct a goal is scored. Bonus points can be collected with you as goalie saving a hoofer from the computer. After each question (which supposedly represents a match), a league table informs you of your progress. It's then onto the next, and the next until a winner is announced (which is always you in one player mode).
What can one say? This game failed to spark any semblance of interest in any of us. The two grinning gits are my least favourite people at the best of times, but times must be hard if they're sponsoring this. Most multi player games are at least semi decent when played with friends - we had to nudge each other awake when it was the next person's turn. Do yourself a favour don't buy this.
MARK ... 30%
'Oh come on, you must be joking. Grandslam can't have seriously made a game about two of the most boring people in the world. Even if you're a big soccer fan, I bet you couldn't stand them both nattering on and generally throwing insults at each other. The game is trivia style with some graphics, animation and the odd tune thrown in to cheer it up a bit. I'm afraid it fails miserably. The digitised pictures of the two gents are hardly recognisable (well perhaps if you squint and stand on one leg) and the animation and music is very basic. Not being a big fan of soccer in the first place (well not watching it, playing it perhaps) this game just doesn't interest me. If you are a big fan you may get some play out of it, otherwise leave it alone.'
NICK ... 35%
"Woor, Saint, wossis sen? Iss one o'vese compu'er games, innit? Ow much wad'll we be gettin' for it. then?"
Whatever they're getting, it can't be enough. Ian St John and Jimmy Greaves as well as being cracking footballers (back in the '60s and '70s when I was a mere lad) are possibly the two greatest Britons of the current age. With wit, wisdom and more casual jumpers than you'd see in a series-full of A Question Of Sport, they shine as beacons of sanity in an area with, let's be frank, norralot of competition. Bob Wilson? Nick 'It's Not A Toupee' Owen? Or even that famous Yorkshire hamlet, Elton Welsby? Pah!
So it's a shame to report that the Kids have by no means "done great" with this computer game equivalent. For one thing, there isn't a jumper to be seen. And Saint doesn't chuckle merrily at Jim's witticisms once. No jokes about Hartlepool, or Scottish goalkeepers. In fact, the only things that connect this game with either The Saint or Greavsie are the rather dodgy digitised pics of them that crop up throughout the game. Otherwise, it's just another two-bit footie quiz game.
Now, I hear you murmur with righteous indignation, the Speccy market hasn't exactly been overwhelmed by a tidal wave of two-bit footie quiz games, or even one-bit ones. It's just that, after playing Saint And Greavsie, it rather feels as though it has. This is a football quiz that, while moderately well programmed and reasonably challenging, so lacks variety that you find yourself nodding off belore the game is even half way through.
So, having chosen your team (say, Maidstone Utd) and your captain (say, M Berkmann). you advance to the question-answering bit. Like Triv, this is fab if there are lots of you huddling around the warm Speccy as the cold winter nights draw in, but if you're on your own there's little incentive. The winner is the player who gets the most points, and if you're the only player you're the winner before you've started. Great.
Assuming you have chosen the 'easy' questions, you now kick off. Each question represents a match, and there are three sorts you can get - Home, Away and Derby. Home questions score just one point, and these are, in theory, the easier. Away score two, and are usually about football in the 60s and '70s (easy for me, hard for most YS readers). Derby questions are about football trivia, score three points, and are often actually the easiest of the lot. Which sort of question you get is decided by a bar graph on the screen that leaps up and down. Press fire and it stops, and elsewhere on the screen your ball alights on one of the three question types.
So, a question comes up. Who scored six goals against Sunderland in the 1960s? To whom did Leeds sell goalkeeper Gary Sprake? (Don't ask me, by the way - I got these two wrong.) Get one right and you may be given the opportunity to save a penalty for a bonus point (this, like all such subgames is impossible at first and a pushover when you've worked out how to do it).
And, er, that's it. There's a short game (21 matches)and a long game (42 matches) but that's all the choice you really get. What makes me suspect that this game was conceived and programmed in a hurry is that, when you finally finish this marathon (42 matches may not sound many but try playing 'em), the game then tells you that the team which came second actually won - even though it scored fewer than half the points you did. Grr. Anyone tried playtesting in Grandslam?
No, this isn't really up to scratch. At the end of the day, Brian... er, it gets dark. Really, only footie quiz freaks should invest - especially if they want to know who really did score six goals for West Ham against Sunderland in the 1960s...
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