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World Cup Carnival

From Kick Off World of Soccer - wikickoff

World Cup Carnival is a football video game for Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum released in 1986. This is the first World Cup franchise game, and is based on 1986 FIFA World Cup. The game is actually Artic Software's previous title World Cup Football, with the official licenced items added.

It was arguably the worst start a franchise could have endured. While the license was acquired with time to spare and was carefully planned, internal problems plagued the project's development until it could not be completed anywhere near a commercially usable date. As Mexico '86 was coming closer, U.S. Gold decided to acquire the rights of an older game, World Cup Football, re-fit it with the properly licensed items, and market it as a revolutionary new title. However, this late effort was received with cynicism from all in the video game industry: gamers, retailers and reviewers alike, and started a trend of "less than what was expected" games based on football licenses.

Ten teams are available in the Commodore 64 and Amstrad CPC versions of the game whilst all 24 teams that played in the 1986 World Cup are available in the ZX Spectrum version. For all three platforms only 8 of these teams can be selected for the actual World Cup mode. Additionally, there is a training mode that includes penalty taking in all three versions. Matches last for 3 minutes, and there is no ability to change formation settings etc.

The game was packaged with many extras including a World Cup wallchart, a sew-on badge and poster.


At the time of its release Zzap!64 awarded the C64 version of the game an overall score of just 11%. Crash scored the ZX Spectrum version 26% and the reviewer stated "This is the worst football simulation I have ever seen". MobyGames awards the game 2.5/5.

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