“All the thrills and spills of BBC’s action-mad TV spectacular” – that’s what Strawberry Fayre’s It’s a Knockout board game promised back in the 70s, while in the 80s, Bambino Kick-the-Goal Soccer was like totally new generation, with buttons and pixels and bleepy noises. But which primitive amusement wins the head-to-head battle in GNG’s Old-School Gaming Challenge Cup?
It’s a Knockout was a bit like Mouse Trap, taking a century to put together all the little cardboard games.
Here’s the board and the half-ton of scenery that came with the game.
It’s worth clicking on the box lid to get an idea of just how much fun it was once possible to have before stuff like mortgages and work and sex messed with your head.
Fashioned in beige and orange plastic to match the wallpaper, and featuring the kind of stunning graphics found in the first LCD wristwatches, the instantly addictive Japanese computer game Bambino Kick-the-Goal Soccer seemed like a dream come true in 1980.
What you had to do was ‘Use the Buttons to Control the Direction and Movement of the Ball-Carrier’, and weave your way through the seven oppo players who swarmed like flies over their patchy pixel pitch.
Only ten years earlier man had flown to the moon using only one billion gallons of kerosene, a large tin can and a computer chip no more powerful than the one powering the Bambino; now the same technology was used merely to confound the opposition goalie by Kicking a Banana Shoot…
For the first time ever, it seemed cool not to play football or even go outside. We drew the curtains, so our five-pixel playmates grew brighter and more exciting. The real world of mud and sky began to seem a dim second best.
Final result based on expert scientific analysis: It’s a Knockout 1-4 Kick-the-Goal.
Disclaimer: Got, Not Got: The Lost World of Football is not the only series of 18 heartwarming nostalgia fests to feature primitive soccer games, vintage programmes, fan snaps, football cards, Coffer bling and tons more 60s 70s 80s memorabilia along with thousands of shared fan memories. Is there a GNG book available for your club?