World Cup Carnival (ZX Spectrum)

World Cup Carnival ZX Spectrum Title screen


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World Cup Carnival is the first soccer (football) game utilizing the official FIFA license. The game was actually football games from Artic Computing and repackaged to coincide with the FIFA World Cup in Mexico in 1986. The versions were World Cup Football for the ZX Spectrum and the Commodore 64 and Amstrad CPC versions were taken from World Cup II / World Cup


World Cup Carnival ZX Spectrum Penalty taking
World Cup Carnival ZX Spectrum Team selection
World Cup Carnival ZX Spectrum In-game action
World Cup Carnival ZX Spectrum Ball juggling

Alternate Titles

  • "World Cup Football" -- ZX Spectrum original release title
  • "Mundial De Futbol" -- Spanish title
  • "Copa do Mundo" -- Brazillian title

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Jul 27, 2014


Release and sales

Initially planned as a US Gold in-house title, time constraints forced them to acquire Artic's World Cup Football (ZX Spectrum) and World Cup (C64 & Amstrad CPC), and fit the game with licensing tags and 'feelies' including a badge and wallchart, to release the game in time for the competition.

For many years it was believed than an unreleased, incomplete and presumably abysmal original version was lurking somewhere, but the 2015 book The History of US Gold reveals the full story - a communication breakdown between two US Gold staff members meant that both wrongly believed the other was working on the game. US Gold's Plan B was to get Ocean to produce a modified version of Match Day to fill the void, but again nothing was started due to a miscommunication. Plan C was the old Artic game.

Although one of US Gold's biggest ever sales successes, their reputation was not helped by the game. Amstrad Action magazine gave it 0%, and other reviews were highly negative. On forums such as and , the US Gold game has a much lower rating than World Cup Football, despite being all-but identical.


  • Commodore Format
    • July 1991 (Issue 10) - listed in the A to Z of Classic Games article (Bad)
  • Power Play
    • Issue 11/1990 - The Worst Bluff Package (in the article "The Awful 10")

Luis Silva (13292) added World Cup Carnival (ZX Spectrum) on Jan 10, 2006
Other platforms contributed by Luis Silva (13292)