Soccer Kid

Publisher: Krisalis Software

Release Year: 1993

Available From:

Soccer Kid

Europlatformer. A phrase that strikes fear into many long term games. The up-to-jump collectathons that were a commonplace in the 8 & 16-bit microcomputers have, in many cases, aged as well as a pint of milk. Although wildly popular at the time, returning to them just becomes a bit of a struggle as modern games that use modern control systems are a lot easier to control. So it was great trepidation I approached Soccer Kid.

Soccer Kid from apparently-footy-mad Krisalis Software (they did the Manchester United games) features an unnamed child (though later games that were roughly the same referred to him as “Marko”) running through levels. An alien called Scab had stolen the World Cup and it’s up to our hero to go around the world to try and recover the pieces of the World Cup. The gimmick? Soccer Kid can spawn his weapon – a football. By kicking, heading and dribbling the ball he can attack enemies, use it as a trampoline to higher areas, and use it to discover secrets. By collecting 11 player cards on each world location, he can complete a bonus stage which unlocks a part of the World Cup.

Yes, this isn’t really a collectathon like other platformer games, as you can complete the game without getting each element of the World Cup, however to get the true ending, you need to get every player card and complete the bonus stage perfectly. This unlocks the true final boss which then must be beaten to save the World Cup. Obviously this can be frustrating for those who are completionists as the bonus stages have incredibly tight time limits, but if you don’t care about the World Cup, then racing through to the end of the game is sufficient.

There are other problems – looking at it with early-middleish 21st century sensibilities some of the cultural stereotypes haven’t aged well, but the big problem I found from playing it is often you’re reduced to inching your way through the game rather than race through it. The garish colour scheme and the fact it’s hard to differentiate between the background and enemies means you will get hit if you rush. It’s not great in that regard.

Yet under it all you have a wonderfully charming game. With lives and energy and a generous continue system the frustration that plagues a number of Europlatformers don’t exist with Soccer Kid, and the mechanics of the game, with the wonderful flicks and kicks, are all excellent. Heck you can even change the kit colours on the title screen to your favourite team, a really nice touch.

Is it the best platformer in the world? No. But it’s a game that’s made with love and well worth checking out.

Buy Soccer Kid

Relevant Soccer Kid Auctions from eBay

Be the first to write a review

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.