Tehkan World Cup

Yeeeas, yeeas, yes, yesyesyes yeeeeeaaaas. That was a goal.

Source // Games Database

I don't know when the World Cup was ever held in Tehkan but- Sorry, what? That's the developer? Huh, so it is.

Tehkan World Cup aims to be the greatest football simulation the arcade has ever seen, with its top down graphics and trackball controls offering a gameplay experience like no other. Safe to say I won't be playing that version then, but there was a NES port, so that's something.

You can't really get football wrong, so it shouldn't be a problem however we play it.


I've got the wrong game, haven't I? This isn't Tecmo World Cup Soccer for the NES, it's Tecmo Cup Soccer Game, a football/RPG mash up, which while entertaining in it's own right isn't Tehkan World Cup nor Tecmo World Cup Soccer.

Over to YouTube and the heavily detailed Wikipedia entry we go then...

Fun Times

I said you couldn't really get football wrong, and it looks like that's the case. Of course it's a simplified game of football, yet Tehkan World Cup does task you with choosing the right strategy and being accurate with your shots.

Players haven't yet got stamina bars and individual attributes, so every player might as well be a clone or a robot or something, meaning all the skill is down to you as a player, and in the arcade that would mean your skill on the trackball and knowledge of the game mechanics.

While passing is prevalent in football, with no stamina to worry about players in the game can sprint for the entirety of the match. This means dribbling around every player you see and shooting whenever the opportunity presents itself, kind of like the best players at FIFA.

Defenders and attentive goal keepers will halt your progress as best they can with slide tackles and dives for the ball, but otherwise you're free to get from your half of the pitch to the goal in whatever manner you see fit. It usually turns into a mad dash from a single player, so the game feels less simulation and more arcadey, but it's football however you look at it.

Final Word

I'm a bit disappointed I can't play it, but I don't think I'm missing out on too much. It wasn't the first football game, but the pace it appears to bring certainly makes it stand out. It's not slow and plodding thanks to circuitry trying to keep up with your inputs, but zippy and fluid. Rigid though. Rigid and fluid. Work that one out.

It's tricky to recommend because of the fact that I haven't played it and the fact that I know there are better games from the world of football coming later in the list. Perhaps much later though, so if you need your fix and you're fed up with people dropping out of online FIFA matches, try and play Tekhan World Cup somehow.

Or Tecmo Cup Soccer Game, if that's more appealing.

Fun Facts

Some bootleg versions of the arcade game used joysticks instead of trackballs, but mapped the inputs to the inputs of an imaginary trackball travelling at 100% speed. This meant that subtlety in passing and movement was lost, but scores of 30-0 were possible. In a 90-second game...

Tehkan World Cup, developed by Tehkan, first released in 1985.
Version watched: Arcade, 1985 (randomgaming38)