Eince the first game consoles hit homes, soccer games have been a real passion in the UK.
As early as 1982 you could take over Manchester United on Kevin Toms’ Football Manager, and since then various games have given you control over your heroes. It could be the field action you crave, the boardroom cut and push, or even a number of other football-themed games that flow from the central concept.
Not all of these titles feature Man Utd; some don’t even feature too much football. Cristiano Ronaldo may well have come home after all these years, and if you want to control it in a video game, you might turn to Cristiano Ronaldo Kick ‘n’ Run, a game as loosely football-based as you’ll find it. If you are a fan of online slots, there are Top Trumps Football Stars. presented by Gala Bingo, another popular soccer video game theme.
If you’re on iOS or Android, Flick Kick Football is another example of a soccer-themed game using mechanics we’ve seen elsewhere – not unlike Angry Birds, using the flick mechanic that many games have. use on mobile devices. Whether it’s spinning slot machines, scoring goals, or running through the streets of Europe to collect coins, football has a big presence in video games. Today, you can enjoy football as much on your mobile device as you do on your home computer, but it hasn’t always been so.
While Man Utd are often a playable team in these video games, very few have their names on the cover. And even fewer could wear the badge in the years to come. Euro gamer explains how United are suing Sega for using their footage in the latest version of Football Manager.
Before long you might find it hard to manage United or play video games like them. If that happens, fear not, because you can still turn to these licensed vintage titles from Man Utd.
Manchester United Europe (1991)
After the English club returned to Europe, developers Krisalis worked on a title celebrating the success of the United’s Cup Winner’s Cup. With The Sealeys on the cover, Manchester United Europe released a range of personal computers, including Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari Lynx, Atari ST, Commodore 64 and Spectrum.
It was a follow-up game for the eponymous Manchester United from the previous year, and they did well with several critics at the time.
Manchester United Football Championship (1995)
Four years later, Krisalis was back on the business of developing a United game, this time only for Super Nintendo. The compulsion to play as United doesn’t bind you, and perhaps that was a popular brand used to change an average game.
It used the perspective of the first FIFA but graphically resembled Sensible Soccer. However, there was no official license for the other clubs, so the names were not changed so subtly.
Manchester United: Club Football (2005)
Ten years later, games licensed to specific clubs were becoming scarce due to the costs involved. One of the last series to do so came from Codemasters, the “football club” series. Man Utd got three installments of the game, the first in 2005.
Graphically, it looks a lot like the Pro Evo games of the time, but the appeal was limited to fans of the club. However, the presentation was very neat, and the game went well, plus the copies are worth some money today. The developers have created specific games for 22 clubs, including Celtic, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and, oddly, Leeds!