Plataform: Atari 2600
Also Known As: Football – RealSports Soccer, Super Soccer (distribuido por Digivision)
When Atari released it Atari 2600 console it had to include sports videogames. But usually the available for this console, being either from Atari or from other publishers, were considered inferior to the ones from other consoles like Intellivision. So Atari decides to produce new and improved sports titles, so there came the Realsports line for the Atari 2600 and 5200 consoles, with mixed results. In some cases they were practically the same design with slight changes between both consoles. It looked like the one of Football Association, known as Soccer in United States, was one of them, because some of the “features” of both games were common to both consoles.
The game provides an horizontal perspective of a football field, unlike the previous Atari game. In this title THREE virtual footballers play per team. The players looks somewhat big according to the field, also there is not a clear distinction of the goals,and the ball can get out of the field.
The virtual footballers are contained in three vertical areas, and cannot change area vertically, but horizontally, they have total freedom to move… maybe, too much as we’ll later explain. The joystick can control the virtual footballer with a slightly different color from the others in the same team, and with the fire button is able to change to another “teammate” (well, it’s quickly, there are only two). Also, the button is used to shoot toward the goal (or I must write, the zone where it’s supposed to be) or pass the ball, including self-passing. The videogame is closer to a more realistic version of Indoor Soccer instead of Football Association.
You’ll see, the game had a feature activated by the difficulty switches of the console: if a player without the ball goes to the border of the screen, appears at the other side. It’s true, it “teleports” that gives the videogame a really funny touch. Taking the screen at the right as example, if the blue virtual footballer keeps going right, it will appear at the far left of the screen. This easies making self-passes, or easier deffending your goal. Take into account that the AI can use it too, although it does at a really low frequency. In my hometown a friend of mine had this cartridge, so in his home the “teleportation” worked, but not in the house of my parents, until we found the difference were the difficulty switches.
The duration of the match can go from 5 to 9 minutes, depending on the game mode. The AI can play with 3 different difficult setting, where the AI can play more or less skillfully. We highly recommend playing with the “teleport” active, otherwise the game can become a bit dumb. Actually, there are different versions of the game, the first ones had this feature available, so probably it was a prototype rushed into production. Fortunately it’s easy to distinguis this version, because when you turn on the videogame, a music tune is heard; if instead of that a whistle is heard, it does not have the “teleport”.
There was a port for the console Atari 5200.
The videogame is easy to play, and once accustomed to the “teleport”, it becomes quite funny. One of the best sports titles available for the Atari 2600 (of course, there was not much of a competition) and recommended to play in times of football fever, like during FIFA World Cup.
Console Icon created by Ciro Alfredo Consentino for the program EmuLoader.
Boxart image taken from AtariAge