Sunday, July 26, 2015

Jumpers for goalposts


Team is a soccer game released late in the Atari ST's life by a dedicated company called Impact Software in 1995. Specifically developed for the Atari STE, it makes full use of the enhanced hardware often ignored by other commercial gaming companies: extra colours, 50fps hardware scrolling, Blitter and DMA audio. Wow!!

I feel a little unqualified to review Team, if I'm honest because I'm not a soccer fan at all. From what I have played, I liked but I'm hardly a new convert... I did enjoy running around the pitch and having a good kick about which was great fun. However, not knowing the game's technicalities stopped me from progressing further. Interestingly, there is a friendly mode that displays off much of the game's styles and playability, like passing, tactics, and tackles.

It's difficult to see in the animation, above, but overscan is also active which drastically increases the playable area. Strangely, the player sprites are quite small but all movements are fast and fluent at a smooth 50fps. Sound effects are a little sparse which is odd for a game being played in a stadium of thousands of people! Thankfully, the music is superb with tracker playback routines by a familiar name in the Atari ST demoscene - GRIFF - Electronic Images!

Overall, I had lots of fun with Team which shocked me as I'm not a soccer fan. Whether it's better than Kick Off or Sensible Soccer, I couldn't say but I certainly enjoyed it. Give Team a chance and take it for a kickabout yourself!

LINKS

 - Download Team from 8bitchip which has been adapted for hard drive installation!
 - Old Games Finder has access to floppy disk images.
 - Here is a video recording I made!
 - Team's author, Ralph Lovesy, was interviewed for Maggie #16.