The game offers eight national teams to choose from and play in a national championship (two groups of four teams). All of the eight (available) qualifying teams, and their respective players by 1992, are featured and John Barnes is, of course, in the England line-up. Being a predecessor of Manchester United football game, Krisalis have simply increased the speed of the game, by reducing the visible region of the pitch, and added a number of new features, such as improved pitch side scenery and the varying ethnic groups on the pitch itself. Diving headers, varying weather conditions and highly complex set piece structures have all been included. A nice feature introduced here is the lock mode of the ball, in which if you hold the fire button while running in one direction but point the joystick in another when you release the button, the ball goes in that direction. Also at the main menu you may select the playing length, change weather conditions or enable/disable set-pieces penalty, free kicks etc)
But, as with the Manchester United game, controls are sluggish, and it is hard to dribble with the ball whilst opponent's tackling is precise. Also it is nearly impossible to score when entering the penalty area, as the (computer controlled) goalkeeper dominates there. The computer player is a bit too good, and it gets frustrating when you have to struggle just to keep the ball out of your half! So, this game looks like being best for two-player gaming, which is really playable and fun when playing with another friend rather with the computer.
Graphics are fine, but with several issues here. Player's animation are rather jerky, and the small view area (in order to increase speed here!) makes things worse as it is not large enough to set up any really good passes. Pitches though are well designed offering several details. The Amiga version offers more pitch details than the ST version as expected, and the action is better (or let's say, less jerky).
The title music nice, and the sound during play is even better. Crowds is lively and fully digitized, whilst there are a few short speech effects of the players 9i.e. saying 'Here!' when needed a good pass of the ball)!