We leave one world of spheres with Bobby Bearing and enter another – however as regular readers of the Your Sinclair Top 100 know, the following genre really isn’t my favourite. You could actually say that I personally despise what’s hiding behind No.#45, which is International Match Day from Ocean Software.
International Match Day was created back in 1985 by one of the ZX Spectrum gaming greats Jon Ritman, who had his hand in such titles as Head over Heals, Dark Star and Batman ; also involved in bringing this soccer title to the Speccy was Chris Clarke and F. David Thorpe whose artwork was stared at by many of us – for hours on end – as we waited for our games to load.
Unlike Kevin Toms Football Manager allocating players and managing leagues etc. isn’t part and parcel of this game. Here you’re dropped at the start of a match as soon as you select your team and then you are slowly plodding around the pitch hoping to score a goal within the 90 minutes. It’s football. If you haven’t seen a game being played then a) you’re extremely lucky b) I can’t in truth explain the rules properly to you as I’ve never wholeheartedly paid attention or shown any interest in the sport. I can however tell you there are a number of players on the pitch and your need to score a goal against the opposing team, via passing the ball to your teammates and the getting the ball into the “back of the net!”.
International Match Day, in my humble opinion, is life-drainingly dull! For around eighteen minutes you watch your team slowly trudge across the pitch, as you attempt to pass a ball which wildly screams in whatever direction it wishes to fly. Granted, as stated, I’m not the biggest football fan though I can hope to get some sort of excitement from a fast paced game, but here the players do little more that clomp up and down the pitch and when it comes to tackling the literally stand in front of each other!
There are some nice moments within the game, and not everything is negative. The initial visual appearance of the game is – I admit – impressive. If I was a child of the day, with a passion for the game, I would be impressed by the look, as both Ritman and Clarke have given us a good looking football game.
As ever if you want to play sports go outside and soak up the Vitamin D, get fit, build up a sweat! Sports and gaming should never mix, especially on my machine! Also spotted in this game is the entire race from the Star Trek episode “Let This Be Your Last Battlefield” sat in the crowd. International Match Day suffers in the gameplay, however when it comes to the graphics I’m actually giving it a thumbs up!