But it was a football game born from boredom rather than a desire for critical acclaim or unimaginable wealth.
Success in ‘Sensible Soccer’ really depended on a player mastering passing the ball between players, rather than a player taking a footballer from one end of the pitch to the other while trying their best to dodge the opposition. There was an important distinction therefore that separated ‘Sensible Soccer’ from other similar games: You didn’t want the ball to be continually at one player’s feet, you wanted it to be continually moving through the air from player to player. The ball is the star of ’Sensible Soccer’ where as in game like ‘Fifa International Soccer’ the players are.
He should be proud though. If Jon Hare was to be believed the Snes conversion was actually better than the Amiga game. In an interview with Total! Magazine he once said that “’Sensible Soccer’ on the Snes is even better than the original. Basically you're getting ‘Sensible Soccer’ 1.2, because we've done everything we can that, in retrospect, we wanted to do to the Amiga Version. There are more additions, presentation graphics, in-game music, a bit of mode-7, battery backup, that kind of thing." Jon Hare continues to catalogue the changes in a later interview with Super Play, illustrating how hands on Sensible Software were with their conversions. “It’s weird but though I though the tiny graphics worked fine for the Amiga Version, you feel, for some reason that people just wouldn’t go for them on the Super Nintendo. For that reason we’ve console-ifield the look of it a bit, with larger sprites running around the pitch. They are not too large though, that would have turned ‘Sensible Soccer’ into a completely different game and we didn’t want to do that. The view of the pitch won’t be changing for instance – you’ll still be able to see a lot of it at once.”
For Jon Hare the other big change was the difficulty, with a conscious effort to “make the game both easier for beginners and harder for experts”. To do this a “beginner’s mode” was introduced that made the ball stick to your feet and a much more aggressive AI opponent played against you in the expert mode. Purists will never accept it, but the Super Nintendo’s input device is also much better suited to ‘Sensible Soccer’ and makes it far more approachable for people new to the game, or sports games in general. In place of an Amiga joystick’s one action button is four face buttons, which allows you to be much more specific about what you want the footballer to do. No longer can you get angry that the ball is “hoofed down the pitch” (whatever that means!) rather than passed to a nearby player, because different buttons dictate different kicks.