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International Rugby (Genesis)


Company: Domark (ported by Tiertex
Year: 1993
Platform: Sega Genesis (Megadrive)
Controller: Six-button default controller of the platform.


If english and irish are going to trade hits, better to be in a rugby field.

Early 90s, videogames consoles are starting to recover the consumer market for videogames that the computers had gained, and also, where certain kind of games established followings that can be called cult following. Among them, some sports videogames like rugby.

The company Domark already had done a videogame about rugby for personal computers like DOS or Amiga, with a certain degree of success and bet on porting that videogame to a console which was being successful at Europe at the time.

Interestingly, to some people, the console port was way better than its computer predecessor.


Of course, we can not afford to miss the traditional… SCRUM!!!

The screen game is a wonder, providing a vertical view clearly inspired by other videogames like Sensible Soccer, and the game really gets the chaos associated in a rugby match. We have to be thankful for the mini-field at the top left corner of the game, because you can watch how to advance while foreseeing the positions of the rival defensive players. This is a great addition for this game, lacking to appear in other games.

It’s a fact that if there are sports videogames being benefited by using a controller with many buttons are rugby ones. In this particular game, the developers created a really intuitive scheme control, where three of the buttons are used to pass to either side, or to the back, while another one is user to kick the ball.

In an amazing surprise, if you want to play this videogame in an emulator, these buttons adapt very well to a modern layout in a controller. Again, the offensive controls are really intuitive and it’s very possible to advance really far in the field without recurring to kicking the ball and trying to recover it with a tackle.

Please, order and method for the throw in.

And this is because defending is less intuitive. You see, unless the virtual rugbyers is perfectly over the rival, a tackle is not gonna happen. This is the reason I’m writing that kicking and trying to recover the ball is not a good tactic in this particular videogame. However, passing and dribbling is a lot easier than in other games.

This is the first rugby videogame where I see a clear and simple way to perform lineouts. Unfortunately I haven’t found a way to pull out the incredible formations, but it’s really interesting the power and curve to perform a lineout.

Ussually the AI gives the player the initiative, to a degree where the videogamer can advance through almost all the field… until the last quarter, where the AI apply all clean and drity tricks to stop your advance for a kick or a try. This includes performing scrums to avoid you score. Of course, you can try your luck scoring bt Drop Kick which is quite helpful.

There are many modes in the videogame, including a World Cup mode and simple games. The latter is recommended for beginning videogamers, because in case of too much frustration you can always press the restart button or key if using an emulator.


The videogame allows the use of any of the 16 teams competing in the 1991 Rugby World Cup. Of the traditional rugby powerhouses, is notorious the abscence of South Africa, which was not allowed to participate in the earlier Rugby World Cups due to their Appartheid politics. The contestants that the videogamer can choose from are:

Just like other videogames, the team chosen matters in the gameplay, because some are strongers than others and it’s quite notorious when one of them is played by the AI.


By now, the best of the rugby videogames we have written for in this blog. Really intuitive and easy to play, the pace of the game is excellent, and can be quite trepidant the score, because even if it’s read funny, you can stay in the game (and even win) scoring with kicks instead looking to score with a try. This way I have been able to pull a couple of games with my dear Pumas from Argentina.

Another feature interesting is that matches between teams of similar level are funnier to my liking. I enjoyed a lot more the Argentina-Japan match, than pummeling (yeah, right) Zimbabwe with New Zealand.


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

Console Icon taken from Retroarch.

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