Tecmo Cup Soccer Game (JP: Captain Tsubasa) is a soccer game for the NES that, rather than a real-time action game like most sports simulations, is actually a turn-based game that operates closer to an RPG. The player chooses the next move and their success is dependent on the stats of their players and the players of the opposing team. The success of a shot on goal, for instance, is determined by dice rolls with the striker and the opposing goalkeeper.
The game was one of several NES games that got graphical edits for its localization, rendering its players in a more western style for that audience. In Japan, the game is the first adaptation of the Captain Tsubasa manga and anime and features many of the characters from that license. In North America and Europe, however, they are changed to be original characters.
The story follows Robin Field, the son of a famous soccer player, who takes his team around the world to try and beat the world's best players. The game is basically divided into two tournaments, The National Tournament and the Tecmo Cup. In the National Tournament Robin and his teammates play against teams mostly consisting of generic players, with numbers as names. Going deeper into the tournament, special named players start appearing, who usually have better stats and a special shot that has a better chance of going into the goal. After the National Tournament is over these special players join the player's team to take on the junior national teams of various countries in the Tecmo Cup.
The gameplay is a fairly unique mix of a sports game with RPG elements. On the main screen there is a portrait of the player with the ball, a timer that goes down with every step, the score board, a What-now? box from which to choose the next action, the stats of the player with the ball and a picture of the field with an indicator of the player's position on the field. Weirdly, the field doesn't show where any of the other players are, the only way to find out is to go into the passing menu, which shows the position of everyone in the opposing team and a selection of players from the player's own team, to whom the ball can be passed. The player is basically flying blind when they dribble the ball around.
While the player dribbles the ball, they can run into one or more of the enemy players. This will move the action to a screen where the player must choose to either dribble, pass or shoot to try and get around them. How successful they are is governed by their stats. When the enemy has the ball the player can't really do anything until they themselves run into someone on the player's team. At which point the player gets the option to mark, cut or tackle them. Every player also has a guts stat that decreases with every step they take, it's also used when taking special shots, which they won't be able to do with low guts. The player also gets to control a goalkeeper who has the actions to punch or catch the ball. Later goalkeepers have special save methods in the same vein as the players special shots.
After a match the coach will present all the players that have increased stats, however the player has no control over how they are distributed. During intermissions and before matches the player can listen to their coaches' advice, get a really long password for their current position in the game and switch players in and out of the line up.