SWOS 24/7 / Reviews Archive

Ahh, here we are down in the dusty depths of the review archive, dust off a chair and sit back to a good reading of all the SWOS reviews I could lay my grubby hands on. You'll read somewhat mixed accounts of the Great Game, but it's all enjoyable. Are you ready?

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Review From: PC Format Sept 1994

International Sensible Soccer World Champions

RENEGADE HAS SPENT TOO LONG listening to the gravelly ballads of love walrus Barry White, in particular to his version of Just the Way you Are, and the line: "don't go changing to try to please me". Very little has changed in this new version of Sensible Soccer. That's probably just the way Barry would like it.

Its difficult to work out who International Sensible Soccer is marketed at, anybody who owns the original can see that the gameplay is virtually identical - tiny players racing around at enourmous speed, booting the ball here and there. Graphically, the game is still laughable, with miniscule Sprites and an awful lot of green, but some changes have been made. The sprites are now more detailed; you have an onscreen referee; the new backpass rule is included; and, best of all, all the World Cup teams are included - your big chance to rewrite history.

Sensible Soccer is widely regarded as the father of computer soccer games. It's looking a bit long in the tooth, but with constant updates you can hanf on to the tricks you learnt from the old game, and take them into the future. Anyone coming to ISSWC for the first time will probably need to be told that with Sensible Soccer it's simply not the done thing to criticise the dated graphics. Just keep saying to yourself: "its not the graphics that count. It's the playability." And you should just about make it through alright.

James Binns


Note: there was an addendum to this review, in Nov 1994, describing the CD version:

ONE OF THE WORST things about the PC version of Sensible Soccer (PCF 36, 79%) was the appaling sound effects. Now that the World Cup edition has made it to CD-ROM, you might expect this to have been rectified, but sadly not. The gameplay's as frantic as it ever was (and the range of teams just as diverse) but unfortunately you still get the awful crowd noise. The only difference is that, instead of it sounding like white noise that's being reproduced via an 8-bit sound sample, it's now CD-quality white noise. Now thats progress for you.

James Binns

Review From: PC Gamer Top 100 1997

41. Sensible World Of Soccer

Shunting 22 little men around a field might sound like a peculiar way of torturing dwarfs, but in SWOS (or 'Sensi' as some idiotic types would insist on calling it) it represents the finest form of football thrills. Despite the proliferation of high-tech whizz-bang 3d footy games like FIFA Ninetywhatever and Actua Soccer, SWOS remains a paragon of pure entertainment, constructed with humour, verve, style and - yes - balls. And why has it climbed so much? Because FIFA Ninetywhatever has encouraged us to play it again, confirming we aren't unduly biased by good looks. Except with girls.

NOTE: You may like to know that in the 1996 top 100 SWOS came78, and in 1996 Sensible Soccer was 28th. The 1997 top 100 placed it the highest soccer game in the top 100!!!

Review From: PC Format Feb 1996


Actua Soccer and FiFA soccer 96 seem to have cornered the football market. But one man's tagliatelle is another man's flat green pasta and Dean Evans explains why SWOS might still become a cult PC classic.

Sensible World Of Soccer is one of those 'in-between' games. It's not great, but then it's not a complete disaster either. Its main stumbling point is that, graphically, it looks a bit crap. FIFA Soccer 96 has its swanky Virtual Stadium, while Actua Soccer uses advanced motion capture techniques for the ultimate in footie realism. As for SWOS, it matches it matches this graphical extravagence with its own 'Tiny Geezer' technology, small sprites that only look realistic if you happen to be reviewing the action from about 100 feet in the air.

But although SWOS boasts the visual splendour of Subbuteo game, it's strangely addictive, and while it is not likely to challenge the likes of FIFA or Actua Soccer, its simplicity is impressive. Despite the basic graphics, and some dodgy digitised commentary, this is a game that's still fast and exciting to play. In fact, if you've played Sensible Soccer, before, you can slip into SWOS-style football fairly easily. The controls are the same, the look is the same, and although the gameplay is frustratingly quicker, SWOS is basically the original game, but with a tagged on management section and a big, rotating 'S'. If you're a Sensi fan, SWOS really is quite good. The original PC version lacked the feel of the Amiga classic; the gravity seemed a bit too heavy, the heading didn't seem to work and the joystick control was as smooth as a piece of sandpaper. SWOS, on the other hand, is infinitely better in all departments. The players are are easier to control - you can bend the ball with aftertouch and the zoomed-out pitch perspective enables you to create intricate passing moves that owe more to tactical planning than chance.

As its name suggests, the scope of SWOS is absolutely enormous. You can choose to be the player / manager or the coach of almost any team in the world. You can play in the Australian leagues, line up for Grampus 8 in Japan or take a coaching job in Italy's Serie A.

Although the better teams play football that's almost too quick to counter, there's a lot of fun to be had in the lower English leagues and the obscure Southern hemisphere divisions. Whatever team you decide to choose, all of the player names and the strips are accurate, and if you choose the Career mode, then you can buy and sell players, deal with injuries and all that stuff.

Hackney Marshes

Of course, while all this sounds just peachy, SWOS can't match the two big games for atmosphere and realism. There are many times when you could swear that it plays a better, more exciting game of football, but, while it was billed as the perfect blend of football management and arcade action, the coaching element is ultimately shallow and the gameplay feels at least two years old.

Actua and FIFA Soccer are the championship contenders this year, while SWOS, with its black and white comedy intro sequence, is more a lad's Sunday League kick-about on Hackney Marshes. It's fun if you're a Sensi fan, but FIFA veterans just aren't going to be impressed.

Sensible World Of Soccer



PCF Rating: 70%

Note:This review has been pulled of one of the online review sites, i forget which, but I think it is an outrageously unfair review, none of the appeal is mentioned, and to say it is for Soccer Nuts only is outrageous!.............grrrrrr!!

Sensible World Of Soccer '96/'97 - Warner Interactive Entertainment