Football Strike Review: “real” football on demand

Football Strike Review: “real” football on demand

Sep 21, 2017

Look, I love soccer. I coach it, still play it (somewhat, ha!) and watch it as much as I can. And with the major leagues back in full swing, I can do my commonwealth thing and enjoy referring to it as “real” football.

Yep, I was okay with formally checking out Football Strike – Multiplayer Soccer, a new one from Android all-star development house Very, very okay.

As one would expect from a game, this one has high visual content. The soccer players, fs3containing environments and the like were all pretty well done, with matching sounds and effects that are equally of the standout variety. The animations work very well; ball flight and player movement look natural. The controls are intuitive, mostly consisting of free-screen taps and directional gestures.

The game plays in landscape, and this also works well.

The game tutor is front and center to begin. It starts out with a Shooting Race mode. Here, you learn the basics of shooting while racing against another character to smash through targets superimposed on the face of the goal for points. At the end of the allotted time, winner gets goodies. After working on that, you then get to try Free Kicks mode, which is fashioned after spot kicks. In this one, you go head to head with another player. You and your opponent alternate taking free kicks from different spots and controlling the keeper. Best of five, and again, winner get the jackpot.

After a particular player level is attained, Career mode is unlocked. This is a leveled adventure featuring different challenges, and you have to win to advance to the next one. The stuff here is inventive and familiar, featuring stuff already seen and a few new tricks.

The game also has a training section, and there are goodies that can be collected, and accumulated game cash can be used to procure better gear and such. Fun all the way round.

But alas, there is an energy requirement. This can be circumvented by real money.

Still, it is a worthy game, such that you don’t need need to be a soccer feen to enjoy it. You just might afterwards, though.

SkillTwins Football Game Review

SkillTwins Football Game Review

Oct 25, 2016

You don’t need to be an unabashed, bleary-eyed, hoarse-throated football (soccer) feen to enjoy the skilled sibling duo known the SkillTwins. You don’t really even need to like sports to be entranced by their otherworldly ball mastery, timing and synchronicity. Whether playing competitively or doing a choreographed routine, you invariably end the viewing thinking on one should be able to do the things those boys do with their feet.

And yes, I definitely am an unabashed, bleary-eyed, hoarse-throated football feen.

It’s especially cool to see a mobile game fashioned after the twins: SkillTwins Football Game allows those of us with somewhat less formidable ball control an opportunity to be SkillTwins, one handheld moment at a time.

Of course, the first thing to really see are the graphics. It is a bright, colorful affair, one that invokes summertime outdoors, with plenty of simulated effects. The animations are really what make the game tick, especially when one considers he subject matter: intricate ball moves. The footwork translates to onscreen poetry, insanely crazy put seemingly realistic.


The game employs different scenes, and the soccer-ish tools (mannequins, cones, etc) come across well. The little extras, like celebrations and celbratory flashes, add a bit of fun that help the game visuals.

The gameplay boils down to a leveled set of challenges; as to be expected, the action increases in difficulty as one goes on. the controls were a bit tricky, but the core idea is to follow the arrows, do tricks for bonuses, and finish with flair. he range, obstacles and end targets do get creative.

All in all, it is an engaging diversion, bringing soccer skills performance to a simple, doable level. The control mechanism feels a bit wonky at first, but as one progresses, it all begins to make sense, and the leveled presentation allows the game to be consumed at a reasonable pace.

Gamegou’s ‘Soccer Shootout’ Launches on Google Play

Gamegou’s ‘Soccer Shootout’ Launches on Google Play

Aug 18, 2016

Sweden’s Women’s Olympic Team aside, penalty kick shootouts are exhilarating… especially for the folks watching. I should know, being a retired netminder myself.

Thus, it’s great news that Gamegou Limited, the crew behind award-winning game Perfect Kick, has a follow up effort out now called Soccer Shootout.

Game details (per Google Play):

Can you make the shot? Can you make the save? Can you handle the pressure as a stadium of sports fans looks on?

New authentic multiplayer penalty kick game Soccer Shootout puts you in the roles of football kicker and keeper for an ultimate showdown. Enjoy live, 3D gameplay with a simple flick of a finger. Build your dream team of kickers and train them in special skills. Go head to head with opponents from around the world in free and unlimited challenges. Win rich rewards every week! Are you ready to be a hero? The world is watching.

The game can be downloaded for free, and has in-app purchase opportunities. The trailer is below:

Soccer Manager 2016 Review

Soccer Manager 2016 Review

Jun 27, 2016

People always think they can do better than the manager of any team they support. That formation? That transfer? That substitution? All wrong. Let me show you how it’s done.

So that’s what I was hoping for with Soccer Manager 2016. It offers all you’d expect from a football (soccer) manager game. You can set training schedules, formations, transfers and so on. All of the big European leagues are represented and there’s all of the logos and player portraits you’d expect.

The main issue is that it’s all far too slow. The game is essentially a series of menus and it’s takes far too many clicks for you to actually get into a game. Also, the game is heavily designed to be played ‘on the cloud’. Essentially, this means that the game is constantly saving and uploading save files to the internet, so if you have a remotely questionable internet connection it’ll become a real grind.sm162

The menus are also pretty ugly and when played on a smaller screen a bit too fiddly, with some buttons and menus requiring precise taps of the screen. On top of the poor visual presentation I found an odd bug where you can’t mute the audio at all. This meant I had to mute the phone, so my ideal scenario of listening to a podcast whilst lifting the Champions League trophy was dashed.

The simulation of the football matches themselves also resulted in some questionable outcomes. For five straight games, my players received red cards. Then I had one game where I only got two players yellow cards, which was then followed by another three match streak of red cards.

Another issue with the matches themselves is the way in which you make substitutions and formation changes. In most games it’s a simple case of dragging and dropping players from position to position or from the bench to the pitch, but not in Soccer Manager 2016. Instead, everything is done through menus, meaning that if you want to alter that midfielder’s position into a more defensive role, you need to scroll through a huge list of formations.

On top of this, it’s hard to predict exactly what impact your decisions will have when it comes to tactics. For example, you can choose someone to be the ‘playmaker’ of the team. What does this mean? Do you need someone who’s good at passing here? What if you have a defender who’s good at passing, then what? What if your ‘playmaker’ is slow?

On top of this it’s impossible to know how your players are going to develop… unless you purchase some in-game coin. This is a free to play game, after all, so to do better you’ll need to pay. You’ll pay to view a player’s potential, you’ll pay to unlock stadium and training improvements quicker and so on.

Which is a shame as the entire game needs to be quickened up. It’s ultimately solid, despite some odd red cards and a lack of feedback to your actions, but slogging through menus slows everything down to a real crawl.

Stickman Soccer 2016

Stickman Soccer 2016

Jun 20, 2016

Soccer games have been getting more and more complicated as the years have gone on. Now you’ve got through-balls, lofted passes, finesse shots and so on. It’s sometimes too much and these complicated controls don’t translate well to mobile phones or tablets.

Stickman Soccer 2016 looks to remedy this. It does this by giving you two buttons – one that passes and one that shoots. If you’re defending, you have a button to switch which player you’re controlling and another button to carry out a slide tackle.

That’s it. It’s unbelievably simple yet does produce some moments of fun. On the harder difficulty settings you’ll need to pass the ball around enough to try and get the opponent’s defenders out of the way. Also, shooting from afar doesn’t result in goals too often, so passing and moving are required.

Defending is a little harder as it seems a bit random as to whether your tackles work or not. On the harder difficulties it seems like the AI can read your mind and dodge out of the way of sliding tackles with cat-like reflexes.stickman4

Aside from the basic arcadey gameplay there’s really not much else to talk about. Sure, there are teams to unlock, and they have different stats and kits, but there’s nothing else to really aim for or complete. Seasons can be played out, but there’s no real progression or development to your team – you won’t be taking part in transfers or developing talent.

Also, the different leagues and cups you want to play in need to be unlocked through watching adverts. This wouldn’t be such a problem if the game didn’t ask you to watch 5 adverts in a row before unlocking the content. Why it can’t ask you to watch an advert after every 3rd game, I don’t know. Instead it wants you to watch all adverts in one block and it’s a real slog.

The adverts don’t just get in the way when you’r eunlokcing content but they also intrude when you’re playing the game. Whenever you finish a match or pause the game, an advert takes over your screen. Sure, you can buy an IAP to get rid of these adverts, but the game is so slim on gameplay I’d find it hard to recommend.

Also – a quick mention of the game’s attempt at representing women’s football. Essentially, it alters the ‘normal’ stickman model to one with inflatable balloons for breasts and a pony-tail. There you go ladies, enjoy!

Stickman Soccer 2016 is a bare-bones arcade game that goes from being too easy to too hard in the blink of an eye. It’s also got very little variation to keep you playing.

Cristiano Ronaldo Launches New Game on Google Play

Cristiano Ronaldo Launches New Game on Google Play

Jun 13, 2016

Add soccer mega-star Cristiano Ronaldo to the enviable list of celebrities with mobile games attached to their resumes. The worlds arguably most popular athlete invites folks to partake in Cristiano Ronaldo: Kick’n’Run, new on Google Play.

Per the press release:

Key features of Cristiano Ronaldo: Kick’n’Run include:
Run and score: While it’s fun to be a team player, any real forward knows that when it comes to scoring that winning goal, it’s all about Ronaldo’s unparalleled skills. Players will take charge and run as fast as they can, while making sure they are positioning themselves in the right spot for that killer kick!
Avoid attacking players: It’s not all about being able to run and shoot the ball towards the goal, if you can’t avoid those tricky tackles from the rival defenders. Players must be quick and decisive when moving out of the way of the incoming attacks, while keeping their eyes on the goal.
Special power-ups: Gamers will smash through obstacles and gather loads of points with the help of special items that can be picked up along the way. This will help players advance on the leaderboards and, ultimately, achieve worldwide recognition.
Tournaments: Gamers can team up with their friends from anywhere in the world and compete in becoming the leading team in exciting tournaments. Players prove themselves in being the most valuable asset on their team by scoring the most points.
Look good on the field: Any real fan of Cristiano Ronaldo knows that he likes to look good for any occasion, especially on the soccer field. The game features an awesome selection of Nike original clothing and apparel to choose from, so players can look as sharp as the man himself!
Connect to Facebook: Players can connect on Facebook and strive to get the highest scores and they might even find themselves competing against none other than the real Cristiano Ronaldo!

The game is free (with in-app purchases); the trailer is below:

TacticalPad Gets Massive Update

TacticalPad Gets Massive Update

Jun 9, 2016

Premium soccer coaching utility TacticalPad Pro is refusing to rest on its laurels with its latest build.

Wondering what’s new? Well, per Google Play:


Huge update!
– Add cards, injuries, goals… to player; view player details; export templates with all this information
– New 3D options with female adult, boys and girls
– Export images and videos in vertical orientation
– Improvements on animation edit
– Improved notes for session planning
– Fixes

We certainly liked it when we took it for a spin. It costs $19.99; there is also a free version available as well.

TacticalPad Pro Review

TacticalPad Pro Review

Mar 14, 2016

As big a fan as I am of mobility and solutions related therein, if we’re going to be honest, there are some plays that just feel a bit harder to incorporate mobile technology.

Take my other endeavor, for instance. Since college, I have had the opportunity to coach youth soccer professionally. Beyond the certifications and clinics and such, the sight of a coach whipping out, say, a tablet as a coaching accessory on the sideline is far from common.

There are valid reasons. Weather and light conditions play a part in one’s ability to use mobile technology. Still, as any coach knows, almost more important then the game is the preparation leading up to it, and this is one area where the tools are definitely getting better.

Enter TacticalPad.

This software is geared towards fans and teachers of The Beautiful Game, and is a full-fledged training helper that fits into the palm of one’s hand.


After downloading, one is presented with a sign-up screen; after this, one sees the virtual representation of a well-manicured 2D soccer pitch, and several buttons that facilitate usage. As noted, I’m especially interested in designing training sessions, and used it for that purpose.

One can select from two teams with distinct colors, and the program even has a bunch of virtual knick-knacks — cones, goals, lines, etc. — that make session crafting a breeze. It also has line segments one can add to mimic runs and ball path; player figures can be manipulated to show name and/or numbers for easy understanding.

Toggling the 3D feature is great for animated sessions, and is remarkably easy to set up.

It’s a surprisingly vibrant application, one that makes the process of being prepared more enjoyable, and a bit more relatable. The high gloss graphics are great, and the varied tools to denote motion and the like is especially useful. The export tool is another advantage, and the 3D functionality needs to be beheld to be truly appreciated.

Now, if one is a USSF-badged coach looking to stick to strict USSF session design guidelines (like triangles vs circles), the app might come up a bit short; it would probably also help folks on printer ink budgets (and who isn’t?) if the background could be more grayscale friendly.

It is a premium version is a pricey upgrade; if it actually comes with cross-platform/web access down the line, it will definitely be the program to beat.

As-is, it’s a great option that is well worth a look.

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.

Soccer Fitness Gols Review

Soccer Fitness Gols Review

Sep 19, 2014

Sometimes, we get apps to review that are so natural to use. As a licensed soccer coach who has played and coached The Beautiful Game most of my life, I have an intimate understanding of how seriously fitness impacts the sport. It’s an important, and there are quite a number of wearables aimed at this segment.

In any case, checking out apps like Soccer Fitness Gols not only feels natural, it feels like its my duty. So there.

The app itself is simple in design, with bright green, turf-like graphics making up the main background. The developer uses different shades of green in places to contrast the mostly white main screen text. The UI, as noted, is simple, and uses mostly uses taps and some gestures as the main modes of navigation.gol1

The main menu provides a few options: Programs, Assessment, Leaderboard and Profile. The Program submenu is futher broken into Strength, Endurance, Power, Speed and Flexibility. Each of these categories has three levels of difficulty aimed at people of different stages of fitness (beer league? Hilarious), and selecting one opens up the fitness activities to be done. Now, the exercises were my favorite part, incorporating a lot of warm-up moves familiar to soccer players, and several logical sequences, with video accompanying the descriptions and instructions. The program lists goals (sorry, gols) and allows the user to tweak the actual number achieved, which actually worked to encourage me to “beat” the gol. When done, the results can be saved (to be compared to past and future results), assessed and/or shared to social networks.

It turns out that “gols” isn’t just a funky way of spelling the obvious word; it is also a measure of activity. Gols are assigned for doing the workouts, and used to populate the Leaderboards. The Assessment is self-explanatory, and the Profile allows for users to personalize usage stats.

I especially like the video aspect, and the leaderboard adds a competitive aspect. I do think there could be more media content, and probably a little bit of nutritional pointers. Still, it’s an app I have no problem allowing my players to use.

Or myself, for that matter.

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.