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In 1989 ANCO published the first Amiga and Atari ST versions of Kick Off and it was immediately considered the first pioneer of the soccer computer games thanks to all the new original features never included in a football game before.
With Kick Off, contrary to all its predecessors, the ball didn't stick to the player's feet but was realistically kicked ahead from the players. This added an important degree of difficulty and skill requirement at the same time. This, along with all the new original features like action replays, players with different characteristics, different tactics, fouls, yellow cards, red cards, Injuries, Injury Time and various referees with different moods made Kick Off and especially its successor, Kick Off 2, one of the most successful football game series ever. Kick Off enthusiasts still play big World Cup competitions on original Amiga computers every year arguing that no other football game gives so much exciting amount of control over the action.
- ST Action - Highest accolade they could give.
- Amiga User Int - Best computer game ever 97%
- The One - Ultimate soccer simulation 96%
- ACE - Brilliant, BUY BUY BUY 920
- Amiga Format - Best footy game to have appeared on any machine 94%
- ST Format - What a game! gem to play. Magic 90%
- C&VG - Championship winning material 95%
- Games Machine - Probably the best sports game ever 92%
- Commodore User - No other footy game can touch it 90%
- Amiga Action - Surpasses all other football games 93%
- PCW - Nothing short of brilliant
- New Comp Express - Computer football event of the year
Scans (click for a larger image)
- Awarded U.K. 1989 INDIN Best 16 Bit Product
- Nominated U.K. 1989 INDIN Best Programmer (2nd place, the winner was "Bullfrog" for "Populous")
- Awarded 1989 EMAP Images Golden Joystick Award Best 16 Bit Product. (EMAP is a major U.K. magazine publisher).
The game was ported to various home computers and video game consoles, including the Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Game Boy, NES, PC and Sega Master System. Despite the plethora of ports, Only Amiga, Atari ST and X68000 ports were made with the same source code (Assembler for Motorola 68000 processors) and give the same Kick Off feelings. Also few of these systems support digital Joystick controllers, so an authentic Kick Off experience is extremely rare these days.
Games in the series
- Kick Off (1989)
- Kick Off Extra Time (1989)
- Franco Baresi World Cup Kick Off (1990)
- Player Manager (1990)
- Kick Off 2 World Cup 90 (1990)
- Kick Off 2 (1990)
- Kick Off 2 1MB (1990)
- Kick Off 2: Giants of Europe (Data Disk) (1990)
- Kick Off 2: The Final Whistle (Expansion Disk) (1991)
- Kick Off 2: Return To Europe (Expansion Disk) (1991)
- Kick Off 2: Winning Tactics (Data Disk) (1991)
- Kick Off 2: Super League (Expansion Disk) (never released)
- Kick Off 2: Maths Disk (Expansion Disk) (never released)
In 1992, a sequel, Kick Off 3 was in development. For various reasons the game didn't make it out.
Dino Dini left ANCO on 1993 for Virgin games and he released Goal! for them on 1994. Goal! was a totally different football game that was not well accepted by most of the kick off enthusiastic players.
In 2001 Steve Screech started a project called Ultimate Kick Off with the help of an early established KOA. The game was released by ANCO in 2002 with the name Kick Off 2002. Later a sequel called Kick Off 2004 was planned but it was never been released.
In 2005 Steve Camber started his project called Kick Off 2 competition version. An updated version of the classic game for Amiga improving its features using reverse engineering on the original Amiga game.
- Dino Dini worked on the Kick Off series till Kick Off 2, all the later games were developed by Steve Screech
- KOA, the international Kick Off Association arrange every year in a different european City a big international Kick Off World Cup. This is by far the biggest competitive gathering of Kick Off enthusiasts in Europe and it's called Kick Off Gathering.
- Amiga Power gave Kick Off '96 their lowest score ever: 1%. The reviewer, Stuart Campbell, had a long and rocky relationship with the Kick Off series.
- KOPIA - Kick Off Preservation International Association
- KORPS - Kick Off Research Project Society
- Kick Off Remakes
- KOA Kick Off Gathering - KOA (Kick Off Association) Official International Kick Off Fan Site (organising Kick Off World Cup tournaments since 2001)
- Abundant Software - Game Developer Dino Dini's current development company
- Kick Off World - Fan Site located in Italy (organising local tournaments)
- kickoff2.com - Organisator of Kick Off World Cup 2005 and German Kick Off Headquarter
- Kickoffworld - Italian Kick Off Forum - The italian Kick Off Forum belong to the Italian Kick Off Organization (IKOA) and it's used on organising local tournaments
- Deutschland ist Weltmeister - Fan Site located in Germany (organising local tournaments)
- Kick Off 2 Weltmeisterschaft - Another Fan Site located in Germany (organising local tournaments)
- Kick Off 2 - Home of some German Kick Off Veterans around the city of Kassel
- Inoffizielle Kick Off 2 Weltmeisterschaft 2002-2004 in Homburg - Page of the Homburg/Saar crew with the multiple German Champion MichaelO (Conan)
- Kick Off 2 CUP - Home of Kick Off 2 players in and around Osnabrück / Germany
- Alkis - Greek Fan Site owned by the 2001 Kick Off 2 World Champion
- koa:.:net on line league - Kick Off 2 online league
- Kick Off 2 online - French Kick Off 2 online
- Kick Off - Kick Off page on Moby Games
- Kick Off - Kick Off page on Hall of Light