Retro Review: Premier Picks (Commodore Amiga)

Retro-Review-Premier-Picks-Commodore-AmigaWith the football season now over, one now wonders what can be done to fill in the time and keep that football bug happy till the new season starts again. Well… playing retro football games will certainly help me throughout these long barren weeks and I advise you do the same.

In previous articles I have declared my love and fondness for Sensible Soccer across all platforms, especially the Amiga version. However, that was not the only football game I played on the Amiga and a lot of time was spent on this little PD game that I got free with Amiga Power in 1993, this time consuming game was Premier Picks by Tim Blacklock.

Play your cards right...

Retro-Review-Premier-Picks-Commodore-Amiga-ScreenshotPremier Picks is an addictive mix of luck and a memory style card game. In its basic form you are presented with a grid of 18 cards and your objective is to pick more “Goal” cards than your opponent. But what makes the game so addictive is the other “wild” cards that are thrown in which makes the tasks of getting the “goal” cards extremely difficult and the computer AI is very unforgiving.

Premier picks is based on the 1992/1993 Premier League season, and to begin with you are asked to select a club and you play through a simulation of the Premier League season on a week by week basis, obviously all the other games are simulated by the computer AI. Much like a real football matches the game rounds are split into two half’s, there is no time limits imposed, but should a user click on the “Half-Time” card then that will stop the current round and reset the grid for the second-half and thus finding the “Full-Time” card will end the match. Before the beginning of each round the game will offer a quick flashing list, which upon a mouse click will give a number of cards it will reveal before the game begins; this can be between 1-6 cards. This can be very handy when you need to win a game and it shows quite a few of the “Goal” cards, also tantalizingly when you pick a “Half-Time” or “Full-Time” card it will highlight any of the remaining “Goal” cards you did not pick during that round.

Foul play

Some of my favourite Wild-Cards, include a “Penalty” card where you get 5 seconds to click on multiple cards till you find a “Goal” card, if you don’t then you miss the penalty. Finding a “Foul” card will annoyingly award your opponent with two picks, and if you get a “Yellow Card” card, then you get to pick again.

Rather interestingly on some of the Wild-Cards, upon clicking certain sound effects are played for example a whistle at half and full-time. My favourite is a small grainy audio sample clearly taken from another game or off real-life comment, describing a ‘near missed effort’, although there are numerous amounts of the cards scattered on the grid and hearing it for the 64th time can get a bit grating.

Due for a reboot?

I hope my description of the game does Premier Picks justice, but for a PD game based on a basic card memory game it is wonderfully addictive and frustrating at the same time, this game would be perfect for a remake and update on any mobile gaming device. And to this day I swear the computer cheats by finding a “Goal” card at the last moment and then on its next turn it miraculously it finds the “Full-Time” card…maybe the computer AI was based on Manchester United.

Screenshots via Hall of Light
Link: View Premier Picks in the Hall of Light 

Last Updated ( 01 July 2011 )  

Ed Hale

Tall Handsome Male Seeks.....Ooops sorry wrong type of description. For the majority of the world who do not know me already, I am a seasoned Championship Manager addict who grew up on a diet of Amiga and PC classics. Have had flirtations with console and handheld gaming but always return to the warm comfort of the PC for a good time. Have occasionally done some writing for RetroCollect but always seem to find something new and shiny to distract myself, a legion of loyal subjects and praises might persuade me to keep churning out new content.

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