Striker ’96

Snap66Originally designed by the British team Rage Software in the early ‘90s for the Amiga and ST, Striker has been through several revisions and updates. The approach in Striker 96 is a repeat of other football games: a 3D engine, multiple camera angles, a sleek interface and lots of bells and whistles. Players select from 41 international teams to take part in friendly games, league and cup tournaments. All the staple options are here – variable weather, wind and match duration, adjustable rules and skill level and a six-on-six indoor soccer mode.

The problems start when the whistle blows and the AI problems show up – players seem quite happy to kick the ball into play for no reason or otherwise behave erratically, and you can never be sure that a pass will actually reach the player it’s intended for because the recipient isn’t smart enough to run towards the ball when it gets near him, the ball is all too easily stolen from you; it’s the classic headless chicken syndrome which has afflicted PC soccer games for ages.

The experience isn’t exactly improved by a dull soundtrack – the crowd doesn’t react in time with the action, and the commentary, from former Scottish international Andy Gray, is spartan and poorly synchronized. All in all, this game smacks of laziness where it counts, and as such players looking for a retro soccer experience are better off playing FIFA.

System Requirements: Pentium 90, 16 MB RAM, DOS

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