Football crazy
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Date: 12 September, 2003


A sports-themed selection of games for September as chosen by Steve Couch. All are available to play online for free, without any need to register with the host sites.

Some games require your browser to have a ‘plug in’ for Shockwave. You can download this for free here

We’ve selected games that we judge are also OK for the children we know, but if you are a parent, please don’t take our word for it - standards vary! We advise you to try the game and the site it’s on first before letting your kids loose on it, to make sure you’re happy. (And, don’t forget, you can also find three great games for kids in our own Global Gang area).

To play a game, simply click on its name

As summer gives way to autumn and another football season takes over our televisions, so our thoughts turn to another batch of sport-themed games. Plenty here for lovers of the beautiful game, plus a few alternatives for those looking to avoid it.

World Cup Soccer 2002
A fairly long load time, but plenty of options once you get there. Choose your team and opponents, select a formation and control the action in a scrolling simulation of the big matches.

Table Soccer
For the less energetic, a good recreation of the much loved bar-football. There are only two players to each bar, rather than the classic 2-5-3 formation, and you have no choice but to play as USA, but there is a choice of levels, and the gameplay is satisfying. Good fun.

Coconut Joe's Soccer Shootout
Take penalties and score as many as you can past the goalkeeping monkey. Unlike many penalty shootout games, this doesn't depend on getting your timing right as a power bar scrolls up and down. Instead, you simply click on different parts of the football to send it left or right, high or low. Very simple, but good fun.

Lots of fun to be had customising your player (choose hairstyle and colour, team and kit, even skin tone and how much body hair you have). Once you've done all that, keep moving and clicking with the mouse to stop the ball from hitting the ground.

Not a game so much as a football based quiz, but nicely done. Score a goal by correctly answering two football trivia questions in a row. If you get two wrong in a row, you concede a goal. A variety of 'Millionaire' style lifelines are available, but at the end of the day, it all comes down to your footy knowledge. The game is updated daily, so you shouldn't find the same questions coming round over and over again.

Beat Beckham
A free-kick simulation, where you try to curl it round the wall and beat the keeper as many times as possible before time runs out. There are a lot of games like this around, but this is one of the better ones. The connection with David Beckham is rather spurious - he doesn't seem to feature in the game and the only link is that he takes a good free kick. Never mind though, this is worth a look.

Beckham Fitness Routine
More closely linked with Real Madrid's latest acquisition, this gives you the chance to put David through his paces in a fitness workout. There's no skill or game play involved, just laughing at the poses of an anonymous body with Beckhams famous features superimposed onto it.

And where would football be without pubs? And where would pubs be without darts? That's all the excuse we needed to include this Darts game. Start at 501 and get to zero in as few darts as possible. The system for aiming is straightforward enough that you have a degree of control, and finely tuned enough that it still presents a challenge. It would be good if this offered the chance for two players to compete head to head, but it's still worth a look.

If a sporting winter means the oval ball rather than the round, this could be the game for you. There are clues that this game began in America rather than a Rugby playing nation (there's talk of getting the ball into the endzone, and the terms such as try and conversion are nowhere to be found) but this is still good. It's more like a mini version of Rugby sevens (but with three players on each team) and the action is fairly continuous as you block, pass, run and kick your way through the levels.

Action Hockey
Strap on your skates and take to the ice for this good Hockey simulation. The controls take a little getting used to, but are worth persevering with. This gets the balance between being too easy and too hard just about right, and all that's missing from the true Ice Hockey experience is the hot dogs and violence.