Wasn’t Liverpool The Game released in 1993?…. yes, you would be right…. but it seems that Grandslam had done a previous version in 1989… a long long time before its proper release…. and what a difference!….
The earlier version had a Emlyn Hughes perspective, but then the final game from 1993 had a top down Microprose Soccer approach to it…
Well, looking at the screenshots… the first version looks very tacky… and crap. Your Commodore magazine however continued to give it 92%…. But then they were known to be crap at grading games (They were also the only magazine to give coverage to this version).
It looks like someone at Grandslam possibly decided that the game was not fit for release and a waste of a big license, so they set to work on a new version.
Many years later it surfaced as a better looking and good game. But can we get something of this first version? Dave Spicer shed some light on the game with the following…
“While on the subject of Liverpool FC games, I can give you a little bit more info about the 1990 version of Grandslam’s Liverpool game. The last person to work on the game was Paul Rogers, who previously wrote Time Solider for Smart Egg Software. Paul inherited a semi-working version of the code and was given the unenviable task of trying to turn it into something workable within a very short time period. I supplied a few sound effects, purely as a favour, although I’ve no idea if he actually ended up using them.
Paul’s whereabouts these days is anyone’s guess… Maybe you can track him down?”
No exact reason why the first version was never released in any form…. Especially as the game was completed, it could have been reworked into a budget football game if it were that bad. The Amstrad version was actually released and can be found here… http://www.cpczone.net/index.php?game=1407
The Amstrad release is is odd, as the ad described that version as ‘under consideration’ whereas none of the confirmed versions surfaced. It’s not great, and unfortunately the game has no credits in game.
Your Commodore speculated that Grandslam went under, only for them to reappear later (possibly after a takeover). So did the game die because of this?… Your Sinclair reported in 1990 that Grandslam had brought in the receivers, so it could well have got caught up then. We guess someone must have came in and saved Grandslam, as they lived on for many years after and eventually did release that Liverpool conversion.
Well, we got hold of Paul Rogers, and he confirms that it was a case of “don’t worry, most of the work is done” from Grandslam when he was given the game to finish off (Which someone else had started and left). However, the game was in a right state according to Paul and he ended up having to restart things again with the same design and sort the mess out. Paul goes on holiday though, and when he gets back he finds a load of suits saying that the company has gone into administration – and so it was left incomplete. Grandslam later reappeared and had the game done from scratch in 1993 by Arc Developments.
So there we have it!…. the first version was never complete, and Your Commodore therefore reviewed something that was never complete. Lovely :-) That’s pure 92% gold, and up there alongside the 100% rating for Last Ninja 3 shortly after its big spread on System 3 … :-D
Anyway… what about the game?… Well, Paul has surfaced recently as you can tell and we are hoping that he may locate some remains of the conversion that we can put up. We’re not sure how playable it will be if anything is found, but it will hopefully be preserved nonetheless.
Exciting news and findings, and hopefully preview will follow soon!….
Contributions: Phil Davis, Brendan Phoenix, Dave Spicer, Paul Rogers