Sports games are all the rage and highly advanced these days, but back in 1991 they were basic to say the least. With the lack of worldwide recognition of Australian Rules Football 25 years ago, it seems surprising to think that Beam Software decided to bring the national sport of Australia to the Nintendo Entertainment System. But they did, and the result was Aussie Rules Footy, which deserves to be remembered as an absolute retro classic that you can still play today.
Although efforts are being made to export Aussie Rules to a wider global audience, and other countries such as South Africa, USA, and Canada have begun to play the sport, it is still reasonably unknown to most people outside of Australia. Spinoffs like video games are serving to attract more fans to the game, though, and the 1991 NES game sparked regular AFL releases over the years.
In Aussie Rules Footy, players were able to choose from a number of existing Aussie Rules teams at the time, including Footscray who are now known as Western Bulldogs. The Bulldogs won the 2016 AFL Grand Final, and at the time of writing are at odds of 5.75 in the AFL betting to do it again this season. In current and upcoming AFL games like AFL Evolution they are one of the best sides to play as, but back in 1991 players were probably scrapping over who would be that season’s champions, Hawthorn.
The latest games like AFL Evolution that were inspired by the NES classic are available worldwide, but Aussie Rules Footy was exclusively released Down Under. It had all the makings of a sports game that was way before its time, though, and included options to play against the CPU, play against another player, or play a season. The season mode enabled up to six players to play together in a league that culminated in a Grand Final.
For players who want to have the opportunity to play this classic that invigorated the Aussie Rules genre and sparked annual releases across Windows, PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo, you can now revisit the game online. The rules may be a bit confusing to start with, but you basically just need to score more goals than your opponent and move the ball by kicking or bouncing it. And if you like that old-school game, you can then check out International Cricket which came out a year later.