Flick Soccer 15 Review

Flick Soccer 15 Review

Jan 26, 2015

Struth, for a free game Flick Soccer 15 sure packs in a lot of modes.

Screenshot_2015-01-25-17-19-31Specialist focuses on accuracy. A target drifts around a goalmouth, protected by a goalie and later by more and more defenders. The player must get the ball in the goal, while also hitting the target. Swiping in a curve on the screen sends the ball in that direction and is pretty much required to get it around defenders. Aftertouch can also be invoked by swiping after the ball has been kicked. Hitting the bullseye awards an extra ball and the idea is to go as long as possible without missing three times in a row and running out of balls, making blues rather costly. This is ok at first, but gets kind of dull.

Quickshot is the same as Specialist but much faster. A tight time limit counts down faster than a dingo eats babies and hitting the target awards a small amount of extra time. The player has unlimited balls and the game continues until time runs out. Much faster paced and tense than specialist Quickshot is fun.

Challenge gives the player limited balls and a score to beat. Reaching that score with the allotted balls ranks up the player and unlocks harder challenges. This game mode has the most longevity due to its ranking system.

Screenshot_2015-01-25-17-20-43Crossbar is a dull mode where you must hit the goal’s crossbar with your ball as many times as possible. Crikey, it is repetitive. Finally, Smash It has the player smash panes of glass over the goals as fast as possible. It’s ok.

As for the tantalizingly named Beach Babes mode (which costs 99 cents to unlock), it is simply the same game as Specialist, except on a beach with bikini sheilas acting as defenders and a beach ball to use instead. Hardly compelling, but an amusing little extra. Stone the crows.

Flick Soccer 15 has fun gameplay, but it is certainly not a ridgey-didge game. It is well suited to play while in a line or waiting for something and in short bursts. Just about anyone from oldies to ankle biters, sheilas and blokes will be able to play Flick Soccer 15 too, which works in its favor.

Flick Soccer 15 looks bonza. Bright and colorful, the graphics are apples and have all the genital protecting you’d expect. The sound works well too with the roaring crowd egging you on and some surprisingly good music putting you in the zone.

Flick Soccer 15 is an enjoyable but somewhat short-lived game. Since it is completely free (except for Beach Babes) there’s no reason not to give it a burl, even for bludgers.


Football Manager Handheld 2015 Review

Football Manager Handheld 2015 Review

Dec 12, 2014

Football Manager Handheld 2015 is the latest in the slimed down series of FM games on mobile. While they share the name with their big brother the complexity is toned down greatly for Android. Does Football Manager 2015 buck this trend?

So what’s new in this retread of FM? Not much. The match engine has been ever so slightly tweaked to be a bit smoother and has some new fading effects. Highlights look a little better.

Screenshot_2014-12-08-21-50-23There is a new Scouting Agency option that shows the top 50 players of a certain type in the world. This is fairly usless if you’re managing a lower level team, as they will likely be too expensive.

And that’s it

While Football Manager Handheld 2015 is competent and a decent amount of fun, the real problem with it is that it has not evolved at all from FM2013 and 2014. This is almost exactly the same game and nearly zero features have been added over the last three years.

The player still cannot give team talks or talk to players. This makes it impossible to communicate with players, ask what’s wrong with them, warn them about poor performance or form relationships with them. This is utterly unacceptable and removes a huge chunk of the managerial side of the game, namely handling players. They feel far too much like automations.

Tactical options are as limited as anything. Players and teams cannot be given instructions such as to push further up, go Route One or to focus on retaining possession. Players cannot be given instructions outside of an exceedingly simple “role”. This kills a lot of the tactical side of FM.

This dearth of options makes matches little more than an annoyingly autonomous sequence where the player has little to no tactical involvement aside from setting a formation and putting together the team itself.

The press side of the game is still completely half baked. There are no interesting interviews or chances to comment on happenings and what news there is tends to be dreadfully repetitive and droll.

Screenshot_2014-12-08-21-48-37The poorly made interface is still exactly as annoying to use as it was two years before. Names and other items of interest are still never hotlinked to take you to a page about that person or item. You still need to jump through hoops to reach the relevant menu to check, for example, the stats of a player that you received an offer for or where a team sits in the league. It is clunky, slow and primitive compared to the PC version.

Football Manager Handheld 2015 looks just as mediocre as always. A dull spread sheet look is coupled with the now overly familiar sight of circles moving around on match days. At least the game has nice big text and contrasts well, which is good as plenty of reading is involved as with any management sim. Just like the last two years there is no sound whatsoever. There is no excuse for this.

Football Manger Handheld 2015 is a game that is difficult to recommend. While it’s just as interesting as always the shine has well and truly worn off of a game that stubbornly refuses to evolve as its desktop forefather does. With no big changes from last year and the same limited tactical options FM2015 is not worth a purchase.

Livesoccer Launches Big Update!

Livesoccer Launches Big Update!

Aug 13, 2014

Present technologies are the boffins behind the popular Android app Livesoccer. Previous covered on Android Rundown, Livesoccer enables soccer (Or football for our UK readers) fans to keep up with their favorite team effortlessly. Push notification about your favourite team’s escapades keep you up to date and the app has all the stats, coverage and news soccer aficionados could ask for.

Now PT has released a big update for the revered app, adding a brand new transfers area to the app which tracks where each player on the selected team is likely to play next season and keeps tabs on the hectic and cutthroat business of player transfers. Comment sections have also been added to every league and every team in the app, for easier gloating or griping.

An already amazing app for soccer fans, this update will be great news to followers of The Beautiful Game.

Stick Soccer Review

Stick Soccer Review

Jul 22, 2014

Stick Soccer is yet another attempt to celebrate the now-passed World Cup. Is it worth playing?

Stick Soccer is less soccer and more a series of penalty shootouts. Soccer balls bounce across the screen and a simple swipe arcs them towards the goal. A goalie and a few opposing players stand around to block shots. There is no actual soccer played in Stick Soccer. It is simply a series of shots on goal and no other players move besides the keeper. Despite this, whatever team opposes the player scores regularly during the game. Winning the game by scoring more goals than the opponent completes the level and unlocks a new, harder one against a different nation. Stick Soccer gets tough in a hurry. The first few levels aren’t too hard, but the game rapidly requires pinpoint accuracy and there is never any indication as to why certain shots beat the keeper or not. The game lacks a power meter or any other influence on shots besides swiping, which just isn’t accurate or engaging enough to be enjoyable. Besides the normal single player mode, a Time Attack mode is also included. This features the same gameplay, except even harder.

Screenshot_2014-07-08-05-01-29Stick Soccer’s gameplay is framed in a neat system where scoring goals adds to that nation’s global total which is shown in the main menu. Thus the game is sort of a global competition which is a nice motivation to play.

Stick Soccer isn’t a very fun game. It is difficult and its shallow gameplay is uninteresting. It is often unclear how to beat the keeper and most of the time scoring seems like simple luck. Fueling this belief is the fact that there is an in game shop with soccer boots for sale which boost the player’s stats. Some pairs can be unlocked by playing the game, but the criteria for unlocking them is tough to complete and the game would really like you to pay.

Screenshot_2014-07-08-05-02-24Stick Soccer lives up to its name. Tall, stick like soccer players dominate the game and the animation is very basic. Stick Soccer just doesn’t have much to look at. Soundwise, the game is just as simple. Besides a roaring crowd and the sound of bouncing balls, there is little to hear.

Stick Soccer’s replay value can be measured in minutes. Its one dimensional gameplay and reliance on in-app purchases doesn’t really make it an enjoyable experience.

Stick Soccer isn’t much fun and is little more than another shallow game based on soccer fever. There are much better World Cup themed games to play on Android. check out Winning Kick instead for a more interesting gameplay experience.

Disney Bola Soccer Review

Disney Bola Soccer Review

Jul 17, 2014

Sadly, the World Cup is over, and while I’ll miss the hilarious tweets from our editor (like this one), make no mistake: Football NEVER ends. Disney clearly understands this, hence a game like Disney Bola Soccer.

The game is about as simple as one could expect a simulation to be; it is fairly easy to get it going and getting started. The play area is laid out somewhat as one would expect a soccer game to, with an expansive, shifting top-down view. The game presents the players somewhat whimsically, but there is a judicious use of color that helps frame the gameplay.bola1

Basic in-game movements and actions are effected by gestures and taps. Tapping a player highlights said player. Gesture dragging allows the player to dribble without the ball, and longpressing creates a shot, and tapping a player without the ball gets the ball passed to that player. The play comes together well, and kudos to the developer or using realistic formations and off ball runs; the game clock is an abbreviated 90 minute affair. As games are won, one’s team has an opportunity to move up leagues, and face tougher opponents.

Winning games is pretty much the end goal; there is a cash payout for victories, and this cash can be used to upgrade player attributes. I did like how this particular piece works. It’s simple and straight to the point, and mostly feels logical, and can be performed in between games.

Some of the movements are a bit stilted, and in the easiest mode, the sequences can be somewhat simplistic. Some elements that could add to the gameplay, like replays, are not present, and not every scenario in soccer is represented. Still, it works well to bring soccer alive in a fairly realistic, mobile package.

Four more years? Not so long, potentially, with this one.

Winning Kick Review

Winning Kick Review

Jun 27, 2014

Winning Kick feels good to play not only because it’s a bit of fun, but also because 50% of all proceeds from the game go to the Charity Ball, a organization that provides soccer balls to kids in developing countries. This is a great idea. Luckily, the game is enjoyable as well.

Screenshot_2014-06-25-09-42-17Winning Kick is simple yet effective. It is less a soccer game and more a game of timing. The game starts with one of the players with the ball. An arrow moves quickly back and forth. The idea is to tap to pass the ball when it is aimed at another player so they receive it. In this way the ball can be worked towards the goal player by player, avoiding the keeper as well. Once a goal is scored, the ball is given to a random defender and the cycle starts again with the goal to set the highest score.

Both the player’s team and their opponents walk around constantly, making it harder to aim If the ball is stolen by an opponent or doesn’t hit a teammate the game is over. A limited amount of retries can be used to continue where the player left off or they have to start all over again.

Screenshot_2014-06-25-09-30-15Winning Kick might seem overly simple but it’s a very pick up and play game and its presentation really give it some charm as well. Some sharp 8 bit style graphics lend the game a warm air and the sound consists of some great chip tune style music that, while an odd fit for football are catchy as anything. More music would be nice as what’s in the game is so fun to listen to. The other sound effects are limited to basic kicking sounds and the crowd cheering.

Winning Kick has in app purchases, but they are limited just to purchasing retries and golden balls which provide more powerful, faster shots. Neither of these are required to enjoy the game.

Winning Kick is a simple but fun game for killing few minutes. Players expecting an actual game of football will be sorely disappointed, but it makes for an enjoyable way to pass the time.

Keep Eye on the Latest Stats in Soccer With LiveSoccer

Keep Eye on the Latest Stats in Soccer With LiveSoccer

May 5, 2014

LiveSoccer 2

LiveSoccer is an app that tracks everything a soccer fan needs to know about professional soccer leagues. Teams, tournaments, match scores, news articles – every piece of information in one handy, free app. It’s available for free here: LiveSoccer World Cup Edition on Google Play.

Champ Man Seasonal Update Enables Player Transfers

Champ Man Seasonal Update Enables Player Transfers

Mar 21, 2014

Champ Man 2

Champ Man is a free-to-play soccer managing game, where the players can build the best soccer team there is and bring it to the gold cup. The latest update includes all the latest team updates with new and transferred players. It also lets gamers to transfer the players themselves, as well as a couple of other new features. Get Champ Man for free here: Champ Man on Google Play.

Smashmouth Football Bashes Its Way Onto the Play Store

Smashmouth Football Bashes Its Way Onto the Play Store

Jan 27, 2014

Austin, Texas indie studio Fat Dog Mobile, has launched what they hope to be “football to be in season all year long”. Smashmouth Football, their first title out for the Google Play store, focuses on strategy and play calling, rather than users taking over individual players.

Similar in style to football strategy titles such as Tom Landy Football or NFL Head Coach, Smashmouth Football is all about playing the calls, and reading the tendencies of your opponent, in order to lead your squad to victory. One’s games are playable across any device, allowing players to pick up a game from say, their phone to their tablet.

Smashmouth Football, the latest Football coaching sim, is available on the Google Play store for free today. Download your copy here, and coach your side to victory.

NFL Matchups LIVE Review

NFL Matchups LIVE Review

Dec 11, 2013

How is it that sports games on mobile are better when they don’t have a sports association license behind them (FIFA 14 being the expection to this)? Most licensed games with the blessing of either a sports news network or league, such as MLB or NFL, just seem to fall short and appear as nothing more than a way to take your cash. As if charging $9 on a beer and $7 on a hot dog at the live games wasn’t enough.

Even with the consumer base genuinely agreeing with this stance, leagues still continue to pump out cash grabs. The NFL, who despite making truck loads of money, still gets to claim a tax exemption, is at it yet again, teaming up with Mobage to create NFL Matchups LIVE, a game in which utilizes the Madden Ultimate Team idea of collecting players and power ups, without actually giving you any sort of interaction or effect on the random outcome of the game.

Screenshot_2013-11-12-11-42-50Screenshot_2013-11-12-11-45-25

The whole idea in this game is to collect cards, either by shelling out a lot of money, or grinding until your fingers bleed, in order to get the ultimate team, which then competes against CPU controlled real teams. So it’s not awkward at all when Jamaal Charles ends up playing for two different teams, right? But the real kicker is that the players only involvement is putting together the lineup and determining which of the unlocked teams they can pit their motley crew against. Oh, and deciding which uncoordinated jerseys to wear that day, because a team would totally have to choose the 49ers away jersey or the Packers home jerseys.

It doesn’t even feel like much of a game, and certainly makes one question where this “live” idea comes from. It isn’t like you watch the cards do things in real life matchups. Nor do the Chiefs magically become a competent team in this mobile game either. It seems as though the NFL gave Mobage the license to create a mobile version of the Madden Ultimate Team, but with the goal of making this title be worse than Madden 25 on Android. If that were the case, they succeeded with flying colors.

Screenshot_2013-11-20-15-58-08Screenshot_2013-11-20-15-56-38

With all this, it begs the question as to how this title enjoys the popularity that it does on the Google Play store. This “game” has next to zero interactivity, and serves as nothing more than a money collector for the already wealthy NFL. In order to compete in this game, players are almost forced to shell out money. It’s really a major let down for an entertainment experience. NFL Matchups LIVE is clearly the Ryan Leaf of football apps.

Fanatical Football Review

Fanatical Football Review

Dec 10, 2013

Remember back in the old days of video games when a majority of the sports games you’d find didn’t have licensed players, for whatever reason. Many old time gamers may have fond memories of playing titles, such as Bad News Baseball, 10 Yard Fight, or Ice Hockey, where the members of any given team were either some generic whoever, or a nameless participant. In any case, the lack of a name back then, usually didn’t cause any deterrent from the gameplay itself (unless it was something odd like Ken Griffey Jr Baseball). Nowadays, this type of game doesn’t exist, unless its some ill fated title like Backbreakers or the arcade modern version of Tecmo Super Bowl, in which neither game did particularly well. But in the Android gaming world, games like this can thrive. That’s exactly the case with Fanatical Football, a football game with nameless, generic players, but is a lot of fun, and has enjoyed over 1 million downloads on the Google Play store.

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There are a bunch of different teams within Fanatical Football, which bear little resemblance to any active NFL teams. Instead, each team varies in terms of difficulty playing with or against them. There are no individual stats or abilities assigned to the players on the squad, just overall abilities for that particular team.

All of the action done within this title are custom buttons which appear on the bottom corners of the screen. Additionally, the gyroscope within one’s Android device gives one the ability to move their athlete from side to side, as the player is always moving forward. There are speed buttons, juke, and spin buttons for offensive players, with just the speed boost if you are on defense.

Screenshot_2013-11-21-11-05-16

If this title has one major fault, its that the actual game play can be ridiculous and frustrating. The whole game turns into the human player attempting to minimize the impending amount of yards the CPU can get on them. There is a 0% chance of the CPU not completing a pass and a minimal chance that you can hit the running back behind the line of scrimmage. To counterbalance this a bit, the game is set up to where teams have 4 downs to get to the halfway part of the field, then score. In some ways, it combines the system used by the NFL with that of Arena football. However, once the human player has the ball, there is a risk of throwing the pick or getting your running back stuffed at the line. No matter the difficulty of your opponent, these frustrations occur.

Despite its shortcomings, Fanatical Football may be one of the better attempts at putting a football game on the mobile touch screen. It’s simple but great game mechanics will give people a bit of nostalgia for football games like NFL Blitz, while amping up the difficulty to a point where it forces people to have to try hard. The fact that its a free to play title should not be a discouragement either, as any purchases are totally optional, and players can defeat the CPU without the use of bonuses or boosts. Fanatical Football may not be perfect, but its the best attempt so far at bringing America’s game to the Google powered OS.

New Star Soccer to be Released as Free-to-Play

New Star Soccer to be Released as Free-to-Play

Oct 30, 2013

New Star Soccer 1

The addictive mix of sports and role-playing game, New Star Soccer, will soon be available free of charge on Google Play. In New Star Soccer, players are in charge of a soccer team, both on and off the field. The game can be downloaded (not for free just yet) from here: New Star Soccer on Google Play.