Brutal Sports Football logo Amiga Computing Gamer Gold

George Orwell once said - if you want a picture of the future imagine a boot treading on someone's face forever. Well maybe the future has finally arrived - and it is totally brutal!

This is a strange, but true tale. Reader, you may care to stare with disbelief at the page and disregard these words as piffle. But, believe me, as this hack sits before his heated monitor, these eyes are still shocked and agog. This is the bizarre story of how Brutal Sports Football came to lie in my sweaty palm...

It is a warm July evening, it is late and little Keithy Smith lies in his Sydenham love nest wrapped in a troubled slumber. Somewhere outside there is a commotion, a cat screeches and several dustbin lids clatter to the ground. There is a large bolt of static and out of the night two hunched shadows materialise. Without effort they snap the lock on Keith's back door. Hissing and snarling the two shrouded figures shuffle upstairs to where an unwitting Mr Smith lies dreaming about becoming a rock star. In one gruff instant Keith is shaken, rather alarmingly from his tangled encounter with Morpheus.

"You! Are you Keith Smith, PR man for Millennium Software?" hisses one of the figures.
"Yes," squeaks Keith.
"Good, you little runt. Now listen and listen good. I am Bob Tanner and this is Jim Skinner... and you are comin' with us," growls the other.
Through sleep-crusted eyes Keith stares into the half light in an attempt to recognise the unknown adversaries. But it is too late, in a blinding flash all Keith's pupils register is a white piercing glare.

The next thing Keith is aware of is noise. The noise of a crowd, a very large crowd. As his burned-out eyes open and look around for answers he realises he is no longer in suburban Sydenham.
Instead, he stands in a large brightly lit room. Keith, mouth draped open. Slowly traverses his head to take in the scene. Around him people hurry by dressed in strange clothes carrying weird equipment. Then, out of the corner of one eye Keith notices tow figures pointing in his direction laughing hysterically.
"Ha-ha, look at you punk!" points the one who called himself Bob.
Keith slowly stares floorwards and is aghast to find he is standing clad in only a pair of white Y-fronts and a pair of slightly holey M&S socks. But, before he can contemplate the unquestionable loss of credibility of the situation, or question what has happened to a man of such natty dress code, he is wrenched right back into his dilemma.

"Right, Mr. PR man. We have got just five minutes to explain this to you so you'd better listen," balls Jim. Wide-eyed, Keith tries to weigh up his incredulous situation. Why am I standing half naked being screamed at by a hybrid rhino in a T-shirt and a reptile-type lizard wearing a rather loud sports jacket? Have I been spiked? Have I gone mad? But before Keith can question his sanity further...
"Listen bud, this is the future. We have beamed you into the year 2023 to show you the ultimate destiny of sport. Me and this stinking warthog Bob are the top commentary team for TV network G.O.R.E."

"Out that armoured window takes place the most gruesome, violent, blood-lusting sport in the known universe... Brutal Sports Football. We get 600 million psychotic viewers a week who want to see the mutants knock seven shades of..."
"Mutants?" intervened Keith, hoping his question would not render him an idiot.
"Are you stupid? Don't you know nothin'... Shoot! Just after the second apocalypse, scientists discovered a crack in the space-time continuum which revealed a parallel world full of ugly mutants."
"A bit of fine-tuning from the boffins and these freaks can regenerate like insects. The humans love it, watching two teams of gooks engage in end-to-end bone-biting action, where the ball has sweet nothin' to with the outcome. Awesome!" drooled an enthusiastic Bob as he drained another tin of Grunt beer. "But... what do you want with me?" trembled an unknowing Keithy.

"It is like this drippy-draws, Bob and meself do not wanna wait 40 years to earn big bucks, so we are given' you somethin' to make your time aware of our beloved sport".
With this Bob stuffs a computer disk into Keith's clammy palm and barges by.
"See ya worm. We are live in five!" snorts Jim slapping Keith on the back, rendering him desperate for breath. But before he can splutter any words of response, the blinding light again fills his world.

Now, imagine my surprise to be waken up in the middle of the night by a man in singed underwear whose hair is standing on end, burbling on about what a hairy ordeal time travel is and do I know the way to Sydenham?
One surreal story and a glass of the strong stuff later and Keith has passed on the said disk and is heading towards outpatients. Leaving one hack to finish this saga.
The above story explains a great deal of the background and atmosphere to the setting of B.S. Football. In fact, Jim and Bob playa major role in the overall presentation of Millennium's latest romp.
They are also totally responsible for the 'Brutal Speak' which also features frequently.

Play in the sport of the future is battle out between eight different teams of muties from the nether world (although a match only features two at a time).
Spectators of the future have a choice of who to support, so us present tense folk have the same option.
You can choose between 16 different teams and perhaps take on the matle of the lizards, rams or rhinos. There are also less mutated human-esque sides like the Barbarians or the Giants.

Once you have pledged allegiance to a particular bunch of marauding muties the next step is to decide what form of onslaught is your preference. The choice varies from league action, knock-out (no pun intended) cup or an unfriendly. In the footy of the future there are no structured rules and guess what? Jim and Bob's version from times to come is no different.
Once you are in control of your band of ruffians, whether it be against the computer or someone who started as a friend, it is no holds barred. The only real prerogatives are to either put the rugby-esque type ball into the net (well, it is more like a cave) or to totally rip your opponents limb from limb.

In the future the players will have an ample amount of weapons and power-ups. Being an accurate simulation, rest assured carnage lovers, the computer version contains all you will ever need. Whether it is a simple sword you require to perfect a belly vent (see guide) or whether you would like to employ the lightning, fireball or force field, they are all there to help cause chaos and carnage.

Play is absolute madness and there are tons of ways to maim or inure your opponents, all depicted with some gruesome graphics. As the debauchery ensues and the mangled carcasses start tumbling on the ground, soothe blood-stained grass churns itself up. By the time the pea in the whistle squeaks and the remnants of the teams stagger or are dragged headless from the turf, it is the devil's own task for the poor grounds man to renovate the flesh-tattered turf.

Meanwhile in the changing rooms the remnants of the grunts can relax and enjoy an energy boost and some first-aid while perusing the stats. They also get the opportunity to regenerate severed limbs, craniums and then throw copious amounts of beer down their lacerated larynxes. This may sound futile (not the beer) but when engaged in a league battle, it is important that your battered bruisers get the elixir of life they require to win. The main reason for this is that the more knocks your geezers get, the weaker they become.

Overall B.S. Football is first rate. The sprites are well defined and large enough to make sure all the OTT carnage is there for your gory eyes to take in. The sound too is excellent and very beefy. In fact, when one of your poor unfortunates takes a 'stomping' you can really feel it.
Brutal Sports is a great way to spend a lazy evening with some mates relieving that pent-up aggression. It is brilliant fun and because it is interactive with friends, it will keep you in stitches for months.

As for the future, we will have to ask Keith what to expect. That is, when he is released from Cambridge Sanatorium for the Mentally Impaired. In the mean time, dwell on this thought. Buy Brutal Sports or keep one eye open late at night for a T-shirt cladded Rhino accompanied by a Lizard in a chequered sports jacket!

Let's talk dirty!

Acing - The removal of the opponent's head in one attempt.
Atomised - Complete annihilation requiring the Slab Man.
Belly Vent - Slashing of opponent with a sword across the midriff.
Burn-out - Paralysing lightning bolts.
Bootheeled - Running over an opponent without stopping.
Cannonball - Running at full tilt into the opponent (see Bootheeled).
Crying time - The ultimate defeat.
Contusion confusion - Both sides involved in a mincing.
Duke - The toughest of players.
Eagled - Poked in the back of the head with a sword.
Freewheeling - Throwing opponent's head around instead of the ball.
Guillotined - Decapitation taking more than one attempt (see acing)
Hare run - The collection of a speed bonus.
Iced - Locked in a temporary ice prison. This allows the other side to run rings around you.
Jock - The match commentators.
Jules Verne - Sending the opponent to the centre of the earth.
Kiss wall - The deliberate squashing of the other player's face against the perimeter wall.
Kiss dirt - The deliberate pressing of the other player's face into the field.
Knuckle sandwich - The noble art of the pugilist.
Kebabed - Skewered on descent from a jumping catch.
Lamonting - Shamed into resigning. This term is usually reserved for management.
Minced - Where two or more of the opposition use swords to turn the player into burger meat.
Rolled - Two or more players spilling the baler holder.
Running on the spot - A mass stomping.
Recycled - Regenerated player.
Ratatouille - The state of a player after a Mincing.
Sandbagged - A player at the bottom of a Wrecking job.
Shaming - A complete trashing.
Spilt - Knocked down (usually followed by stomping).
Stomp - Use of the feet upon the upper body parts.
Splicing - Expertly separating the ball and the opponent from behind. A more precise skill than Belly Vent.
Slab man - The unlucky guy who has to scrape the players up from the pitch.
Skinned - Leg tackle from front.
Turkey shoot - Easy victory.
Wrecking job - A gang of players bundling the opponent.

Brutal Sports Football logo

First there was Rollerball, which was a film about guys on rollerskates. It was only girlies who wore rollerskates when I was a lad. But things have changed, what with street hockey, Rollerblade and everything. In Rollerball the idea was to skate around bashing people and throwing big metal balls down toilets. Then afterwards all the players took drugs and set fire to trees with flamethrowers. Quite.

Then there was Speedball, which was a computer game by the Bitmap Brothers. It was really Kick Off 2 on a grey pitch, and you did not get sent off for committing a foul. You got cash and prizes instead. A bit like Vinny Jones really.

Now there is... Football. Sounds like a bit of an anti-climax, doesn't it? But this is no ordinary football, this is Brutal Sports Football. The intro screen leaves you in no doubt that this is part of the Brutal-sports series, and unless I have been napping and have missed a few instalments, this is the first in this illustrious, if a little bloodthirsty, series. The mind boggles to think how they will follow up. Brutal Sports Tennis should be a killer, but Synchronised Swimming will take the ultimate prize.

The idea of the game is to kill, injure, maim, slash, hack, punch, kick, stomp, hit (bit weak that one), behead, gouge, flail, stab, smash, destroy, decimate and mutilate your opponent's players. Oh, and to score goals too. Victory is gained either by scoring more goals or ripping the heads off all the members of the opposition.

Bloody violence
That is about it really. The game does not master on the fine points of team sport and ball playing, but scores highly on gratuitous violence. If they sanitise this one for the Nintendo, they will need buckets and buckets just to store the blood they take out of it.

It is all a bit needless really, and after a while you begin to suspect that ll this gore is trying to disguise a fundamentally flawed gameplay. Then you realise that if you play on two player mode, and do not bother getting one of your mates to take the opposing side, you can go around the entire opposition and punch them all in the face without them defending themselves in any way. If this fails to impress, you can always try to rip all their heads off before time runs out. It is really magnificent fun.

Of course, if your mind is slightly more developed than mine you will begin to find this tedious after a few weeks. But never fear, the designers have packed in tons of cunning and devious twists to keep even the most, distractible of gamesplayers occupied for at least a couple of hours.

There are innumerable options to play, such as one player (against the computer), two player, league, challenge, or you can play best of three or five games in a match. The pitch becomes littered during play with handy pick-ups which you can use to maim and dismember the enemy. The best is the little rabbit which makes the players pair off and copulate furiously. Only kidding - it makes your player so fleet of foot that he can avoid the vicious high tackles being flung at him.
Conversely the little terrapin that walks across the pitch turns your player into a Valium freak.

Fumbling pick-ups!
The most amusing pick-up is the bomb. You can use these to throw at members of the other teams, which is good, but if you get tackled in possession of them you fumble them, and get caught in the middle of a 50 megaton strike.

All in all this is a facile, puerile and shallow game. It lacks the speed and tactical deftness of Sensible Soccer, it is without the playability of Goal. And thankfully, despite the title, it has absolutely nothing to do with football, except maybe of the American and Australian varieties.

If, like me, you cannot tell Diego Madonna from Ryan Biggs, but still feel the occasional need for a bit of team sport, this could be for you. On the other hand, if you are just a socially maladjusted, psycho nutter with a need to vicariously injure and maim, this will be right up your street too.

Fair play? Nein danke!

Brutal Sports Football logo

So ein Footballfeld ist ja von Natur aus kein Streichelzoo, aber in dieser Fantasy-Variante geht es noch mal ein paar Nummern härter zur Sache. Wer also seinerzeit "M.U.D.S." gemocht hat, sollte jetzt die Augen spitzen!

Nicht umsonst nennt sich die englische Version "Brutal Sports Football", denn dieses (un-)sportliche Brutalogame fegt tatsächlich sämtliche Benbimmesregeln einfach vom Rasen. Insgesamt acht Barbarenstämme kämpfen hier mit allen Mitteln in Einzelspielen, dem Ligamodus oder in einem K.O-Wettbewerb um Tore, Punkte und gegnerische Köpfe.

Sie alle können von menschlichen Chefs übernommen werden, in der Arena sind aber höchstens zwei Homo Sapiens auf einmal zugelassen. Dabei bestehen grundsätzlich zwei Möglichkeiten zum Matchgewinn: Eintweder man erzielt mehr Tore als der Gegner - oder man dezimiert dessen siebenköpfige Mannschaft durch harten Körpereinsatz auf einen einzigen Spieler.

Nach der Teamwahl stehen sich die Kontrahenten auf dem schräg von oben gezeigten und etwas ruckelig scrollenden Schlachtfeld gegenüber. Am oberen Bildrand befinden sich ein Mini-Radar à la "Goal!" sowie eine Balkenanzeige, die Aufschluß über die Restenergie der einzelnen Kämpfer gibt. Sobald diese auf Null sinkt, kullert der Kopf des entsprechenden Spielers herunter, so daß er für den Rest der Zeit die Gegend zweigeteilt verunziert. Es sei denn, jemand verwechselt seinen Kopf mit dem Lederei und bugsiert ihn aus Versehen mit kräftigen Tritten zur gegnerischen Endzone...

Nachdem die üblichen Footballregeln hier ohnehin nur am Rande interessieren, liegen auf dem Spielfeld allerlei belebende Extras herum. So erhöhen eingesammelte Hasen zeitweilig die Schnelligkeit, Schildkröten bewirken das Gegenteil, und Schwerter erleichtern das Köpfen der Sportskameraden ungemein. Schilde bieten Schutz, eisern handschuhe erhöhen die Schlagkraft, und die Bomben sind zum wortwörtlichen Aufsprengen der gegnerischen Verteidigungslinien gedacht.

Es gibt lediglich die Einschränkung, daß jeder Recke immer nur einen Gegenstand (oder den Ball) mit sich herumtragen darf. Steht das Spiel nach Ablauf der regulären Spielzeit immer noch unentschieden, geht es in die Verlängerung - dann wird das Lederei gleich ganz weggelassen, statt dessen ist so lange Prügeln pur angesagt, bis ein Team schließlich zum Solisten zusammengeschrumpft ist. Im Anschluß werden die Preisgelder verteilt, mit denen man seine Jungs in einer "Heilungs-Maschine" wieder für das nächste Sportereignis fit macht.

Da uns zum test noch die Urversion vorlag, können wir Euch ncht versprechen, daß die deutsche Ausführung wirklich zwei Disks enthält. Nichts ändern wird sich dagegen an der gut animierten Grafik, dem martialischen Schlachtensound und der rundum gelungenen Stick-Steuerung. Actionliebhaber, Metzger und andere Orks werden somit sicher ihren Spaß mit dem Game haben - ernsthaftere Sportler bleiben indessen besser bei "John Madden Football", und die BPS guckt hoffentlich gerade woanders hin... (md)

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Just remember kids, it is really the taking part that counts, and not who wins or loses their life in the process.

Non-specific bestial violence in an orgiastic miasma of bloodletting and pain infliction. What do you think we could be talking about? Israeli foreign policy? The Waco Texas experience? Anti-nazi protest demonstration in Millwall? Boris Yeltsin's political strategy?

Surprisingly, the answer is none of the above. We are talking about Brutal Sports Football. A simple old computer game which by its fun nature encourages two people to get together and play against each other competitively.

The game concerns two sets of teams who play on a pitch of horror, death and carnage. Your children control them. Decapitation is actively encouraged, as is stomping and inflicting harm on your opponent when he is down. No wonder we are breeding a nation of monsters. So let us play - Brutal Sports Football!

First Down: the game consists of two teams of bestial monster battling against each other. The point of the game, surprisingly enough, is to socre more goals than your opponent.

Second Down: the pitch scrolls from left to right, side to side, much like Manchester United Europe, say. The scrolling is incredibly smooth and the pitch is fairly sizeable; about three or four screens wide.

Third Down: animation of the team is excellent; from the way they arch their backs when jumping in the air to catch a ball to the way they assault their opponents so viciously.

Fourth Down: your opponents are numerous, have snazzy team names and are out to beat you in more ways than one.

Touch Down: Gallows humour permeates the whole game. The violence is not so much horrific as horrifically funny, even when the laughter wears off after having played the game for a while.

Maybe that has whetted your appetite for more head-exploding detail. It is really hard to write about Brutal Sports without starting to rant in an insane blood-lustingly insatiable kind of manner. At first it looks simple, but there is so much to it which is not obvious from the first couple of plays.

Gallows humour permeates the whole game

Let us start with the semi-mundane things like control systems which, if they are not well-adhered to, suddenly become very annoyingly important. Brutal Sports as an intuitive feel to it; whether kicking, passing, jumping, beating, stomping or decapitating.

There are three types of match play. The Leage, the knockout and the Unfriendly. Depending on the number of friends you have got, the Knockout can cater for up to eight human players. All of the teams in the knockout section are of the same type of humanoid as your own team, the only distinguishing characteristics they have to set them apart being a different colour of strip.

There are four leagues. Naturally enough, you start in the fourth. This is the first time you will come up against the disgustingly horrible bestial competitors: the Pit Fiends. These monsters from the spawning pits of hell are tough. Their tackle is particularly effective and vicious compared to the more humanoid opponents you have faced so far. The unsettling aspect of all this is that there are more unwholesome monsters to be faced, each type progressively bigger, harder and cleverer than the last.

The Unfriendly game (see the humour sneaking in again? My sides still hurt) lets you pit yourself against any of the available humanoid teams. The game itself is a transcendentally REM-sleep disturbing nightmare to play in a thoroughly enjoyable kind of way.

There are several different moves and strategies that can be employed. The basic idea being to get a hold of the ball and run toward your opponent's goal. Unless you have managed to get a hold of the jack rabbit power-up (lets you run very fast), it is unlikely that you will manage to get much further than a couple of yards. You can choose one of two basic moves; kick the ball way up the field or American Football pass directly to one of your team mates.

Now that does not sound particularly exciting, but consider all the bolt-ons. The ability to harmfully tackle, smash your opponents in the face, decapitate them (You are quite taken with this decapitation notion, aren't you? - Ed), stomp on them to reduce their overall vitality and generally be rewarded for all out aggression is fantastic.

The violence is demented, intoxicating and excessive (blood spurts and all) but it is never quite as mindless as it is strategic and humorous. The ability to decapitate can become a vital part of your overall strategy. It is best to take out the player who stands in as the goalkeeper. Then fro centre, kick the ball full whack. Use your other players who are standing near the goal to pre-emptively take out any opponent who may get near the ball. The ball will trickle over the line for a very cheeky goal. Lovely stuff eh?

And there is more, loads more. Power-ups are more help than hindrance: tortoise (go-slow hindrance), jack rabbits (speed), bombs (blow up your opponent), shields (harder to be tackled), swords (easier damage infliction).

By this time, you will have guessed that 'love' is not strong enough an adjective for my feelings towards this game (Or, indeed, an adjective at all. - Ed). I have though about this hard, and I have though about this long.

Brutal Sports reminds me of a side-view version of Speedball 2. When I first played the demo, I thought "Hmmm, nice try but no elastoplast". But now I have got to conclude that it at least matches Speedball 2 for fun, excitement and playability, and when it comes to humour and violent content, it kicks the Bitmaps game into touch.

It is hard when a personal icon gets shattered, but the brute force of Brutal Sports Football has forced its way, with all the subtlety of an Ice-T lyric, into my personal Top Ten.

Brutal Sports Football logo


Take John Madden, add a dash of Speedball 2 and a little Man Utd. for viewpoint, bake under a slow oven for one year and voila you have got the perfect recipe for Brutal Sports Football. And it tastes pretty good too. This fast-paced football/beat 'em up cross is an absorbing game designed to be the first in a series of tongue-in-cheek looks at professional sports.

Set in some futuristic world, BS Football puts you in control of a team of genetically-engineered mutants at the bottom of the fourth division. Your aim is to rise through the ranks by beating some of the strangest teams ever to grace a football pitch. As well as other humanoid teams, there are ones composed entirely of lizard creatures, others of rhinos and yet more with even weirder beasts, all with their own unique techniques and style of play.

The gameplay is of the American kind with players picking up and running with the ball into a sort of English goal/endzone. In theory winning is easy, either score a load of goals or rip off so many of your opponent's heads that they cannot carry on. In this perverse game anything goes - punches, kicks and stomps - there is no illegal moves. To make matters worse (or better) the pitch is littered with pick-ups that allow you to run faster, smash opponents with a shield, stab them with swords or use a special freeze ray that turns them into blocks of ice. As for injury time, well it means just that - cause more injury and you will get more points.

The gameplay is fun, the graphics huge and refreshingly chunky and the sound well crafted. Despite some exceedingly dodgy scrolling, especially in the locker room, BS Football is a well-coded effort. It is great playing your way through the leagues and kicking the crap out of all and sundry. Most fun when played against a friend. Buy buy buy.

Brutal Sports Football AGA logo AGA


Not only has Millennium unleashed the rather excellent Wild Cup Soccer this month, but it has also decided to let the A1200 owners of the world in on the smashing Brutal Sports Football - the game that takes the national pastime of the US, and throws in more than a little violence. Basically, there are no rules in this game. Just get the ball into your opponent's goal, and if that means you have to punch, kick, slam or rip your opponents to pieces to get there, well that is just part of the game.

At the start of the game you can choose whether to play as part of a league, in a World-Cup style championship or just a sequence of 'unfriendlies' - more or less the same sort of thing you would expect to find in any sports simulation.

Select your team, set the venue and you are into the game itself, and this is where the character that has made the game sell so well comes into play. It is a great-looking game, and the sight of futuristic Vikings swinging axes, knives at each other around a modern sports arena is quite an addictive one.

Brutal Soccer is a surprisingly violent game, hence the name, and the amount of blood and carnage left dotted around the pitch by half-time is enough to have even the strongest constitutions twitching. Like Wild Cup Soccer, this is not the smoothest or fastest game in the world to play, but then you do not really mind after a while because the game itself is so good. After a couple of goes you get so worked up about decapitating your opponent and smashing them against walls that the technical side of the game stops being a problem.

I do not think this will ever be a classic, but it is still a lot of fun, and the addition of 256 colour graphics just makes it that little better.

Brutal Sports Football CD32 logo CD32

Tina Hackett gets physical with Millennium's CD32 Brutal Sports Football, and ducks into Team 17's budget CD32 compilation of Qwak and Alien Breed Special Edition.

Appearing across many formats, Brutal Sports has proved highly popular, and now it's here to grace the CD32. If you're not familiar with this title, the idea behind it is based loosely around American Football.
The main variation is that this version is based in the future, has no rules and the primary object, other than scoring goals, is to beat the pulp out of your opponents!

This is all depicted through gory graphics of decapitations, knifings and all other forms of physical violence imaginable. All this could encourage a high moral tone, but in this case it is more than necessary and what's more, it's fun!

As a mixture between a beat-'em-up and a futuristic sports sim, you get to guide a team of mutated creatures to League success. Winning is achieved by the obvious method of scoring the most goals or by slaughtering six of the opposition. Pick-ups are also a major factor in deciding your victory or failure. These take several forms and can be found scattered around the pitch. Rabbits speed up your players whereas tortoises do the opposite.

Devices such as lightning or ice-cubes strike down your unfortunate opponents, but of course they can make use of these pick-ups too. All this makes for a hugely enjoyable mixture of frantic American Football and hilarious beat-'em-up action. The two-player mode provides an opportunity for competing against a friend, and even more excitement.

Extra additions to this CD version include graphical details showing a crowd of aliens, enhanced sound effects and a rock sound track.

For those thinking of investing in some quality software for their CD32, this comes highly recommended.


Brutal Sports Football CD32 logo CD32

Millennium 0223 844894 * £29.99 * Out now

A sideways-scrolling orgy of tongue-in-cheek, bone-crunching, limb-tearing violence, Brutal Football is one heck of a rumble.

The idea is to score more goals than your opponent. And if you inflict some damage upon them along the way then hey, so much the better. Pick-ups abound - the hare is useful, it gives you a Linford Christiean (can you say that?) turn of pace.

The scrolling is a tad jerky, and it can be difficult to follow the ball at times but it is great fun, particularly when you get to stab your opponent with a large sword. And turning your opponents into ice cubes is jolly good fun. Unfortunately, the in-game music is rather too intrusive and although you can turn it off, it keeps on coming back every few seconds. Go away.

Das Recht des Stärkeren

Brutal Sports Football CD32 logo CD32

Die Diskversion dieser Mischung aus herkömmlicher Lederei-Action und nackter Gewalt haben wir unter dem Titel "Crazy Sports Football" getestet - so wird auch hier wieder die offizielle deutsche Ausführung heißen.

Aber damit genug der Förmlichkeiten, das Schlachtfeld ruft: Bis zu acht Spieler übernehmen jeweils ein siebenköpfiges Barbarenteam, um sich im Einzelmatch, während einer Ligarunde oder im Rahmen eines Pokalwettbewerbes zu duellieren; Fehlende Mitstreiter ersetzt der Rechner, Spielregeln im üblichen Sinn existieren dabei praktisch nicht.

Um zu gewinnen, muß man entweder mehr Tore erzielen als der Gegner oder dessen Team durch diverse Brutalitäten auf einen Spieler dezimieren. Sollte ein Unentschieden drohen, folgt eine Verlängerung ohne Ball, bei der die Barbaren so lange aufeinander eindreschen, bis die siegreiche (= überlebende) Mannschaft feststeht.

Auf dem horizontal scrollenden, aus der schrägen Draufsicht präsentierten Spielfeld tummeln sich neben den Schlagetots noch ein Dutzend Bonusgegenstände für erhöhte Schnelligkeit oder Kampfkraft - als dreizehntes "Extra" rollt dort gelegentlich auch mal ein abgetrennter Kopf herum, den ein Spieler im Kampfgetümmel verloren hat...

Wer immer wein "Fair geht vor"-Shirt auf den Bolzplatz mitnimmt, hat wohl gar nicht mehr bis hierher gelesen, den verbliebenen Brutalos sei verscihert, daß der Mix aus viel Action und ein bißchen Football gerade auf CD recht lecker mundet.

Denn im Vergleich zur Diskversion sind die gut animierten Grafiken vielleicht noch um eine Nuance farbenprächtiger, die Padsteuerung funktioniert genauso problemlos, und die Musikbegleitung besteht neuerdings aus einem furiosen Heavy Metal-Soundtrack. (md)

Brutal Sports Football CD32 logo CD32

Millennium, £29.99
Amiga version: 88%, AP32

This is my first serious play of Brutal Football, and I have to admit I'm surprised. In almost every tangible way, it's Speedball 2, but sideways.

The idea's the same, the gameplay's the same, the structure (one or two players, league, cup or friendly, management/training section) is the same, many of the powerups are the same, and even the goalscoring strategies (lob the ball straight in at the keeper, then smack him one and roll it into the net, or fling a high ball into the middle, intercept it in mid-air and stick it in before everyone else comes down) are pretty much the same.

For the CD32 it boats a new joypad control system (hurrah!), an annoying heavy rock soundtrack which it's almost impossible to turn off (boo!), sudden complete silence when someone scores a goal (huh?!) and still no action replays (10% off). So that's that, then.

Brutal Sports Football CD32 logo CD32


Violence, violence and more violence, this is the name of the game in Brutal Football. Upon slapping in your CD you are presented with a rather nice intro sequence of a scientist at work on his football players - but something is wrong. I fiddle with the volume, no joy. Are the audio leads properly set up, yes. So what is going on? For the intro sequence Millennium have left out music. This may be unimportant, but games on the CD32 should really use its potential for top quality music.

When the intro is finished, you are presented with an options menu (and some background music, at last!). There are league, unfriendly and knockout competitions. The game itself is based (very loosely) around American football, with the ball and pitch markings being the same, but this is where the similarity ends.

You get to control seven players around a pitch, viewed using a side-on perspective of so many 1980's soccer games. The difference is that International Soccer did not have decapitations!

The pick-ups littered around the pitch, such as disembowelling swords and grenades that make a real mess of the opposition, add a lot to the gameplay. And! - if there are no pick-ups around, you can punch someone's head off and use it as a weapon instead (controversial eh?).

Another macabre, but I suppose you could say, realistic, feature is the fact that bodies stay on the pitch after you have killed them. Graphically, the sprites are good looking, but remain the same throughout the basic Viking teams.

However, there are some good opposing teams that look like over sized lizards, goats, rhinos and so on. What lets Brutal Football down is their movement. The action is fast, especially when your players have been souped up in the locker room, but the movement is not all that smooth. In general the gameplay is not affected very much though, it is really only noticeable when there is a large crowd of players in one place scrambling for the ball.

Brutal Football is good, clean (well, lots of blood, sweat and black pudding never hurt anyone) fun, and really comes alive when played in two-player mode!