Italy 90, while sounding a lot like an F1 rally race game from the title, is actually a lesser known game featuring European rules football, or soccer. It was published by Simulmondo after development by the Dardari Brothers. It was released in the late eighties and the action centers around the 1990 World Cup, hence the title. It saw a fair amount of time on the Amiga, and the Commodore 64 was technically the lead platform. It was obviously available for the personal computer, as well.
It features a third person perspective, side-scrolling format, and, being a fully licensed title, offers the soccer fan a lot of choices in teams and players.
There are choices in areas beyond picking what country you will play for. The greatest option available to users, especially those familiar with other soccer games, is the customizing controls feature. This allows the player to set up the controls however he or she wants…or however he is used to, if he is already an experienced soccer video gamer. Another interesting idea presented in Italy 90 is the choice of countries. The gamer can play as a wide variety of countries, but the skill level of those countries represents who was actually
good and not-so-good at the time. For example, both Germany and Italy are quite skilled and feature some very fast players. If the gamer plays as, for example, the Costa Ricans, however, he will have a much more considerable challenge on his hands. One of the more unrealistic features of the game is the number of players on the field. Each team is made up of a total of seven players, which includes the goalie.
The user will always control the player with the ball, or the player closest to the ball, if he happens to be in a defensive position. The player can move in eight directions, making him very mobile as soccer games go. The gamer can also hold the key he designates as the “kick” key in order to increase the power of the kick. There are different levels of computer artificial intelligence, which will determine a lot of the opponent’s reaction to such kicks. There is also a varied range of gaming speeds and match durations.
Overall, this is a solid soccer game that is made a little bit better than one might anticipate by the high level of customization available. It will provide a nice challenge for the seasoned user, or the beginner. It is a recommended download for classic soccer fun.