Before Sensible Soccer there was MicroProse Soccer – and it’s now available on Steam. But this isn’t the classic Commodore 64 version. Why would anyone play the DOS version?
Pre-match infodump: MicroProse Soccer was a top-down football simulation on the Commodore 64. Designed by Sensible Software with graphics by Jon Hare and sound by Martin Galway, the 1988 title was known in the USA as as Keith Van Eron’s Pro Soccer.
Featuring a World Cup tournament (giving youngsters the chance to discover a myriad of unheard of countries, like Oman) with impossibly accomplished South American also-rans (e.g. Mexico, Chile, etc.) and an indoor 6-a-side league (as per the most popular incarnation of soccer in the USA at that time), MicroProse Soccer was amazing. In a time of celebrity endorsements (Emlyn Hughes Soccer, Peter Shilton’s Handball Maradona) it presented a refreshingly tongue-in-cheek game.
Eventually ported to Amiga, Amstrad, Atari ST, MS-DOS, and ZX Spectrum, MicroProse Soccer will forever be the pinnacle of arcade football games on the C64.
But why resort to the MS-DOS release when there is a superior Amiga release? Here’s a look at the MS-DOS version of MicroProse Soccer:
Ziggurat appears to have collected the publishing rights to a wealth of classic games – but only the MS-DOS versions for pre-Windows 98 computers. Other retro games from the publisher listed on Steam include American Football game 4th & Inches, Bad Dudes, and Express Raider.
So, why the MS-DOS version of MicroProse Soccer? Well, the answer would seem to be:
- The publishing rights were available
- DOSBox is freeware
While the C64 version should be achievable – other C64 games are available on Steam – Ziggurat appears to have firmly nailed its flag to MS-DOS gaming. Given its popularity on GOG, you can hardly blame them…
Gaming since 1984, retro gaming since 2004. Contributes to Linux Format magazine and MakeUseOf.com.