Every feature you could possibly want in a video soccer game has been packed into this cartridge: two teams of 11 players each (they look like little wooden pegs, but so what) trotting up and down the full-length field that scrolls laterally in three sections, kicking and passing a black and white checkered ball, scoring goals past the hapless goalie... it's all here.

So are the countless play options that allow you and as many as three other players to divide into teams with or without the computer helping out one or both teams. There is even a hopeless option where you attempt to challenge the computer alone. Include the possibilities of other variables such as different time limits and difficulty levels and you will soon decide the only thing left out of this game is a British announcer.

But despite the countless alternatives, there are only two of any competitive consequence. First you can watch the computer play itself to a draw, or you can remove the computer from all competition and stick to human opponents. Invite the computer to play against you (he is totally merciless) or be on your team (he is an insufferable showoff) and you immediately become the weakest player on the field. Your team is actually better off without you.

Another problem with the game becomes apparent when you want to gain control of a player. Pushing the fire button will activate the member of your team closest to the ball and he will stop moving and proudly display the number of your joystick port. This means that just as you need the player most he stands still, if only for a fraction of a second. Or say the player you really need to activate is the goalie. If he is not the nearest to the ball, forget it. By the time he has earned that distinction the opponent has probably scored.

Your best chance of enjoying the game is to find some friends of equal talent and go for it. You can play until your thumbs turn stiff and your wrists freeze up but you'll never be able to compete in the computer's league.

Never pass the ball across the front of your own goal. It is an open invitation for the other side to score.