Sensible World of Soccer (SWOS) is a 2D soccer game that combines direct control from a top-down perspective with a management component. Developed by Sensible Software, the game was the direct sequel to Sensible Soccer. It was critically acclaimed upon release due to its simple, fluid controls and huge database, which featured teams and players from every professional league in every country at the time. In all, the database contained 1600 teams and 22000 players.
The large database was a result of the more lenient licensing laws from the period, which allowed the use of real player names without high expense. The only deliberate inaccuracy in the data was a deliberate misspelling of UEFA, the Union of European Football Associations, which was instead referred to as EUFA. Directional controls aside, only one context-sensitive button was required to control the game, allowing you to easily perform passes, shots, lobs, headers and diving headers. Much like the original Sensible Soccer, SWOS was praised for its ball physics and high camera position which showed more of the pitch. Both features allowed for easy passing and created a soccer game focused upon flow and speed.
Although originally released in 1992, the game continues to enjoy a high degree of critical respect. In 2006, it was named as one of the ten most important games ever by a panel that included game designers Warren Spector and Steve Meretzky. The panel argued that those ten games, which also included beloved titles such as Zork, SimCity, Super Mario Bros. 3 and Doom, should be archived to protect them from being lost to time. The hope is that the Library of Congress, who archive movies, books and other media, would accept the submissions as the start of a similar game canon. The game was released on multiple platforms to varied success, and there were numerous successful updates to the original. However, the 3D sequels that followed failed to achieve similar acclaim. In December 2007, Sensible World of Soccer was re-released with updated graphics on XBOX Live Arcade with a new online mode.
Similar to Sensible Software's previous releases, SWOS had an original song recorded as its title music. Called "Goalscoring Superstar Hero," the song was written by the late Richard Joseph and lead designer Jon Hare and performed by Jacky Read.