After initially developing the game on the TRS-80, Kevin Toms released his football management simulator for the ZX81 in 1982. Originally launched via mail order and requiring a 16k RAM pack, the game allows you to become the manager of any of the 32 included clubs. You start the game in Division 4 with £100000 in the bank and a squad of players made up of famous players from the period. Memory restrictions mean there is a small subset of players that will appear in the game so no matter what team you select, you are likely to have Ricky Villa or Lou Macari in your squad.
Players in the game have a position, skill rating and energy level along with a related value. Your main role as manager is to pick a team from your squad in order to maximise your skill and energy levels whilst trying to match your opponents overall statistics which are shown before the match starts. If a player's energy level reaches 0 then he will be injured for a number of matches although injuries can also strike any player. This can often result in playing a game with less than 11 players due to a small squad size.
When you have picked your team, you are ready to kick off the match. Lacking the power of other 8 bit computers, the ZX81 version has no graphical highlights. Instead, you are presented with a summary screen which will update with a score flash whenever a goal is scored. After the match, you get the final score and the gate receipts which are added to your bank balance.
Results from other matches in your division are then shown, followed by the league table. After viewing the current state of your finances, you are offered the chance to buy a player. A guide price is shown and if you want to try and purchase the player, you type in a bid. If your bid is refused, the guide price is raised and you can bid again. This continues until you have a bid accepted or decide to pull out of the transfer.
Before each match, you also have the chance to transfer list any of your players. You will be offered a price which you can choose to accept or refuse. You also have the ability to take out a loan if you need to bolster your squad with repayments made after every game. You also have the chance to view a status screen which gives you a rating out of 100 as well as showing you the morale of the squad, your current finances and the number of seasons you have been playing.
Each of the 4 divisions only have 8 teams with promotion and relegation between them. There is also a cup competition where you can pit your wits against teams from higher divisions. There is no limit to the number of seasons you play and before every season, you can choose 1 of 7 skill levels.
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This exhibit has a reference ID of CH34276. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.
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