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MSX Soccer (MSX)


Association Football (AKA Soccer in some countries) is one of the most played sports in the world, even when it was not quite as popular in Japan and USA (however, in the latter, there was a great effort to promote it during 70s and early 80s). The idea of getting videogames of this sport was considered worthwhile. The MSX computers more known in Europe, where the best association football leagues are located, had many videogames of football because it was a better market than the aforementioned countries. Panasoft, a small korean company, distributed a very single game of this sport in the MSX. Simple graphics, but easy gameplay for a quick match.


Company: Panasoft
Year: 1985
Platform: Microsoft MSX Computer
Controller: Computer keyboard or Two-Button Joystick


We can think the teams are Real Madrid vs FC Barcelona.

The game provides a vertical view of a football field, where 9 virtual football players (one is the goalkeeper) play per team (maybe there are the 11 players, but I only count 9). The game shows simple but very defined sprites for the virtual footballer. Showing with a different color the one the player can control at any given time, that includes the goalkeeper.

As the majority of the videogames designed at the time for MSX computers, the idea was playing the game with the keyboard; however it’s simpler using a two-button joystick plugged in the computer. One of the buttons is used to pass the ball to the nearest virtual footballer, varying the distance travelled by the ball acording to the time the button was pressed.

This button also functions to change the virtual footballer when the team do not have the ball, to the nearest one, trying to ease stealing the ball from the rival. The other button can function to shoot the ball to the goal, or to slide when in defensive situations (the slide looks like more like a karate flying kick) trying to steal the ball. With the joystick, or the cursor keys, it’s possible to move around the field.

A glorious and deserved tie (it didn’t last long).

Also, when the forward closes to the rival goal to trying to score, behind the goal appears an arrow indicating where is going the ball when the shot button is pressed. The arrow adjusts according to the movements of the virtual footballer. The Artificial Intelligence of the game is a worthy rival. Considering that it fails constantly shooting to your goal, and also can fail passes between its controlled virtual footballers.

You have also to consider that the virtual footballers of your team do not position themselves when they do not appear in the screen; or with constant changes of the virtual footballer controlled. There can be situations where the player ends with every defense shifted to the left when the rival attacks from the right.


The main attractive of the game is its simplicity to play, although maybe some control aspects can be polished. It’s not simple to give a right pass to a virtual fellow, and it’s relative common to send the ball behind easing a beautiful counter-strike from your rival. Controlling the goalkeeper is acceptable, although you are exposed to steals from rival forwards. There are no fouls, even with the karate-style slide, so you don’t need to worry from penalty kicks.

Eventually appeared better games, graphically and playability speaking for this platform. But as an option for a quick and funny match, without complex controls, and not being ashamed before younger rivals who can dominate FIFA videogame, it’s more than recommeded.


Sport Icon designed by Smashicons of FlatIcon licensed by CC 3.0 BY.

Console Icon taken from Retroarch.

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