Super Bowl
Copyright/Publisher: Ocean, Release Year: 1986, Genre: American Football, Number Of Players: 1 or 2

All the razzmataz of American Football now for your micro screen. Authentic game play including strategy, action, replay and even cheerleaders.

The game SUPERBOWL revolves around the two teams who made it to the final of SUPERBOWL XX, played on 26th January, 1986 at the New Orleans stadium. The two finalists were the CHICAGO BEARS and the NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: the final score was: BEARS 46 - PATRIOTS 10

This is your chance to replay that wonderful final in this superb computer simulation. It's up to you, now...

AMERICAN FOOTBALL is played in FOUR QUARTERS of FIVETEEN MINUTES duration each. Super Bowl shows a display starting at 15 minutes which reduces to 0, but the game clock has been accelerated to last approximately 90 seconds per quater of actual processor time. Naturally the clock does not run whilst you are organising the various strategies.

The teams change ends at the end of each quater, and the FIRST and THIRD QUATERS commence each HALF with a KICK OFF. For the purposes of this game, the game clock is stopped on the completion of each play, and is restarted at the SNAP of each successive play. The game is played in two sections, OFFENSE and DEFENSE. Each team is controlled by a series of comprehensive menus, the OFFENSE always being selected first.

If you wish to play the game but are a little worried about its complexity, then worry no more, for SUPERBOWL has been designed to allow the total novice to play without understanding it finer points.

When faced with the OFFENSE menu, all you need to do is select the PLAY GAME option, at which point, control is transferred to the DEFENCE menu. The person playing DEFENCE (or the computer) can again simply select the PLAY GAME option. The game will then begin when the OFFENSE presses the fire button.

Of course, the subsequent game will not be as sophisticated as if the menus has been utilised, but will certainly allow you to become familiar with the concept of this simulation.

It is possible to practice strategies and technical situations on your own by setting up both teams with the menu system. If you wish to try out a specific type of play, say, the Shotgun Offence, you can do so by following this example (although any Offence Strategy can be applied using the same method.)

1. From the Main Offence Menu, select the Shotgun Offence. The formation will now appear on the pitch with one player highlighted by a cursor: this is the preferred reciever who will attempt to catch the ball. If you wish to pass to another player, then move to the SETUP receiver option and press FIRE to select it. The joystick now controls the cursor which will move around the eligible recievers, who can be selected by pressing fire. When you are happy, select the MAIN MENU option and then the PLAY GAME option. Control now passes to the DEFENCE MENU.

2. You now have to use the keyboard or joystick associated with the Defense to set up your desired strategy or, if you wish to use the computer selected default, then simply select the RETURN TO PLAY option. If you wish to select your own Defence formation then choose, say, the 4-2-5 Defence on the main menu, which will transfer you to the DEFENCE STRATEGY SUB-MENU, where you can actually define the player marking allocation. Moving the joystick down the list of Defence Players will highlight the marked Offensive Player on the BALL. (the ball carrier). Pressing FIRE will move the joystick to the offensive players so you can select a different player by again pressing fire. If you highlight the FREE option, all Unmarked Offensive players will also be highlighted.

3. When you are satisfied; select RETURN which will take you to the SELECT CONTROL PLAYER menu where you should simply press FIRE to return to the main menu and then select RETURN TO PLAY. Control is now with the Offence, and the computer will control all players except the Quaterback or any any other person carrying the ball. NOTE: Further instructions follow in the main Offence and Defense section.

The joysticks or keyboard is used to move UP and DOWN the menu structure using FIRE to select the desired option. During play, the joystick controls your selected player, and FIRE either changes controls to another player or passes the ball (explained in more detail, later)..

Kick Off
The game commences with a KICK OFF from the kicking team's 35-Yard line. This play is automatically selected as required to commence each half and after a TOUCHDOWN. The essence of the play is important, as the principle is carried through to the other kicking plays. When the fire button is pressed AND KEPT DEPRESSED, the forward/backward movement of the joystick will affect a POWER SCALE.

This scale shows a reading based on the PERCENTAGE OF A MAXIMUM KICK but, in addition to affecting strength of the kick, it also affects the TRUENESS OF THE KICK. In other words, a maximum kick has more chance of veering away for the straight line. When the fire button is released, the offensive play is automatic. As in real Football, the kicker must practice and become aware of what he is able to do.

The Defence is quite capable of catching the kick and advancing the ball back up the field, although the Offence can only establish possession of the ball: THEY CANNOT ADVANCE THE BALL ANY FURTHER.

Game Play
There are two kinds of service which can be used :

The MAIN MENU gives the option of the type of strategy you wish to adopt for the particular play. NOTE: KICK-OFF AND EXTRA POINT ATTEMPT ARE SELECTED AUTOMATICALLY.

The choices available are:

Each option leads to a sub-menu giving further, more specific options, such as the SHOTGUN offense. Essentially, LONG PASS plays can gain a good deal of yardage, but there is a good chance that the ball will be intercepted by the opposition. SHORT PASS plays are a little safer, but still give the option of the successful reciever running a fair distance with the ball. RUSH PLAYS are the bread-and-butter plays, but it is usually only possible to make a few yard gain on each down.

Of course, in PASS PLAYS, there is always the option of the Quaterback rushing with the ball instead of passing it. SPECIAL PLAYS include the two kicking plays, the PUNT and the FIELD GOAL ATTEMPT, and also the GOAL LINE RUSH which is just a concerted RUSH PLAY specifically designed for the play on the opposition's goal line.

Having selected the specific Offensive play, the player has the ability to see the actual movements of his team members, by VIEWING NEXT FRAME. There is also the option to select the PREFERRED RECIEVER, that is, the reciever who the player is intending (initially) to recieve the catch from the quaterback.

Then the player simply selects the PLAY GAME option which passes control to the DEFENSE (to make their selection).

The Snap
During play, the game-clock is started when the Offense presses his fire button, causing the CENTRE to SNAP the ball back to the quaterback. At this point, the joystick will control the QUARTERBACK, whilst the other players move upfield according to their chosen strategy.

As soon as the fire button is pressed (without realeasing), the joystick will move the screen cursor around the eligible recievers (starting with the preferred reciever), that is, those men able to catch a forward pass. When the fire button is released, the ball is immediately passed to the selected reciever WHO THEN COMES UNDER JOYSTICK CONTROL (BEFORE THE BALL IS ACTUALLY CAUGHT). The reciever must now position himslef correctly to catch the pass. There can only be one forward pass AND IT MUST OCCUR BEFORE THE BALL CROSSES THE LINE OF SCRIMMAGE, otherwise the offense incurs a penalty (Loss of Down).

The reciever must be moved to the place where the player thinks the ball is going to land (within a few yards of the reciever's position).

If the ball touches the reciever between ground-level and six feet, then it is considered a good catch and the player can attempt to advance toward the goal line.

If the ball touches the reciever between six and nine feet, then there is a possibility of a catch of a recoverable tumble (one which can be advanced).

Over nine feet, and the ball is considered missed. In this event, the ball will be considered dead when it touches the ground, that is, the pass is incomplete. This causes the original yardage required to remain the same but at the expense of the down, so a SECOND-AND-SIX AT THE 60 YARD LINE would become a THIRD-AND-SIX AT THE 60 YARD LINE.

If the ball touches any inteligible reciever, the pass is unfortunately considered incomplete, causing a Loss of Down.

If the ball first touches a defensive player, then the player can catch the ball according to the above guidelines, but after a fumble by either team, the ball can be recovered by any player and advanced in the appropriate direction.

Controlling Other Receivers
Having successfully caught the ball or fumbled, the player can choose to control any of the recievers by pressing the fire button and moving the cursor whilst keeping the fire button depressed. When the button is released the appropriate reciever is under joystick control, so the player can use him either to retrieve a free ball (after a tumble) or to protect the ball carrier on his run for touchdown, although please note that because of the inherant speed of the game, this is a necessarily difficult manoeuvre.

When the ball carrier crosses the opposition's goal line or an eligible reciever catches the ball in the opposition's end zone his team will score a touchdown. Play will then automatically transfer to the EXTRA POINT ATTEMPT, which operates in a similar fashion to the Kick-Off, in that the fire button when kept depressed, will utilise the POWER SCALE. The player must determine how much power he need apply to successfully send the ball between the uprights. When the fire button is released the play is automatic.

Field Goal Attempt
In operation, this is the same as the Extra Point Attempt, in that the object is to kick the ball between the uprights. As before, the fire button controls the POWER SCALE which determines the strength and trueness of the kick. If the kick is unsuccessful then the opposition restarts play with a first down at the point of the kicking team's scrimmage line.

The Punt
Keeping the fire button depressed will again control the POWER SCALE which will determine the strength and, to a lesser degree than on other kicks, the trueness of the kick. This ensures that the punt reciever (on the defense) will have to work to catch the ball.

If the ball is missed, then the opposition starts play with a first down at the point at which the ball comes to rest. In the event that this is in the END ZONE, then the scrimmage takes place on the 20-yard line.

If the ball is caught, then the defense can advance the ball, but if it is fumbled either team can recieve the ball and advance it.

The DEFENSE is set up using a rather more involved menu system, which begins with a MAIN MENU offering the four major types of defense strategy.

3-4-4 DEFENSE | 4-3-4 DEFENSE | 4-2-5 DEFENSE | 7-1-3 DEFENSE

The numbers represent the layout of the defense, so the 3-4-4 defense has three front-line defenders followed by two lines of four.

The player first chooses the type of defense strategy which he thinks will best handle the Offense initial line-up (which is displayed on screen) and then will enter the main strategy menu which allows the player to set up which players are to mark given offensive linesmen.

This strategy menu lists the players by actual NFL player numbers:
21 Safety - 22 Running Back
23 Safety - 25 Running Back
35 Cornerback - 88 Flankerback
38 Cornerback - 81 Split End
91 Defensive End - 85 Tight End
50 Linebacker - 10 Quaterback
53 Linebacker - 54 Centre
63 Defensive Tackle - 64 Guard
73 Defensive Tackle - 69 Guard
95 Defensive End - 65 Tackle
55 Linebacker -71 Tackle

The player can choose which Offensive players to mark with his defenders but also there are two extra options. The first is that any defender can mark the ball corner, that is, they will always go for the person carrying the ball. Secondly, there is the FREE option which shows all the unmarked Offensive players.

To operate this menu, the joystick will control up and down movement. If the fire button is pressed whilst selecting a defender, the joystick will then only operate within the offensive players and the BALL option. By pressing the fire button now, that offensive player becomes marked by the selected defender.

For example, let's assume that the defender highlighted is number 22, the Running Back, pressing the fire button will cause the offensive player to be highlighted in turn according to the joystick movement. If the button is pressed whilst number 10, the Quaterback, is highlighted, then the effect will be that for this particular play number 22 will personally mark number 10. THE EFFECT OF THIS PARTICULAR STRATEGY IS VALID ONLY FOR THIS PARTICULAR PLAY.

When the selection is complete, the defense is given the option to select which player he wishes to control when the game commences.

As soon as the Offense begins the defenders will behave as per their selected patterns, except for the player under joystick control. If the player wishes to change the defender under control then he must press the fire button and whilst the fire button is depressed joystick movement will highlight the various players on the pitch. As soon as the fire button is released, he will have control of that particular player.

That covers most of the game play, but YOU are the one in control.