Mar 22, 2011

Pocket Soccer

I became acquainted with Button Soccer about a year ago in a math trade. I was able to negotiate a set when my efforts to get it in the trade itself failed, but after all that I still have yet to play the game. One of the reasons I haven't been able to play the game is because I live in the USA and soccer isn't exactly the most popular sport over here. And it only gets worse when you try to turn a less than popular sport into a board game.

The concept of Button Soccer is simple... you've got a bunch of buttons (yes, originally buttons were used) or discs and you flick them in turn attempting to knock a ball into a goal. Pocket Soccer takes this concept and makes it into something more solo friendly and action oriented.

Pocket Soccer features 3 on 3 soccer action and is goalie less. This is probably for good reason given the limited screen size that a mobile device offers and because we don't want the players to get so small that they can't be easily selected. I think you'll find 3 was the right number of players per team. From there you alternate turns having a chance to flick one of your players down the field so as to influence other player's movement and the movement of the ball. You also only get 5 seconds in which to make your move otherwise the move will revert back to your opponent. That prevents a team from hogging the ball.

qrcodeOn the minus side these are some substantial changes from the original game. Whereas before you had time to line up a perfect shot and get just the right flick (a la billiards) now there's a twitch element and a lack of precision. But, is it fun? No and yes. At first I found myself to be flailing around spending more time praying that the ball would go into my opponent's net, but as I acclimated to the game I found that there is definitely some control and, dare I say it, strategy to be employed. Sure, the odd ball errantly scores courtesy of dumb luck, but once I got the hang of what I was doing the frequency of such events declined.

I'm someone that likes sports games and enjoys strategy games. I'm more than happy to consider a 'variant' of a game so long as it's fun. For example, I really like what Kinect did with their simple soccer game that is a part of the Kinect Sports compilation. In the case of Pocket Soccer, is it soccer? Not really. Is it fun? It's not going to win any awards, but it's still enjoyable (and it's free). 4/5 stars.

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