Tecmo World Cup Review

Tecmo World Cup never dazzles with its detail to the sport, but if you’re fond of games like Double Dribble or Blades of Steel, you just might find yourself smiling from time to time while playing. The graphics are colorful and the players are very large. Animation is nothing to get excited about, but considering the time of release, it gets the job done. Gameplay is decidedly simple. Move your player to the left or right and try to score (preferably at an angle). That’s about it. Add a slide tackle and a pass button, and you’re ready for some clean, old-fashioned arcade-style action.

Before you begin, you can play a single game or the World Cup. Choose from 24 teams, one of four formations (which determines the placement of your players on offense or defense), and then begin play. It’s very simple, but incredibly addictive! Just like the aforementioned Konami games, there’s a lot of back and forth action as you constantly switch possession of the ball. The computer is also very aggressive (and quick) on the higher difficulty levels. Unfortunately, passing is a hit-or-miss affair, since there is no radar to show where your other players are.

There aren’t any extra features to speak of, either. I would have appreciated a few more moves under my control, password support for the World Cup, substitutions or injuries, an indoor stadium, and more strategy options. Yet none of these issues really take away from the game’s fast-paced fun. While soccer fans might turn up their noses at the game’s emphasis on arcade action over depth, those looking for a sports game that hearkens back to the days of the NES will get their kicks from Tecmo World Cup.


Simple, clean graphics with large players. Unfortunately, all the players look exactly the same, aside from skin tones and uniform colors. The field looks nice with different shades of green.


The music is enough to make a person grit his or her teeth in frustration. It loops constantly and you can’t turn it off! Sound effects are extremely basic.


Fans of simple to play sports games will enjoy this title. Soccer nuts should stay away!

Replay Value

The lack of features really hurt this game’s replay value. Two player support and the five levels of difficulty help.


The game probably could have been explained on one page, but the instructions are adequate.

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