Soccer fans should check out Gameloft’s Real Soccer, available as a free download from the App Store. While the graphics and interface don’t rival those for the soccer games available on Sony‘s PSP, they definitely outshine their competitors in the mobile phone market.
Real Soccer iPhone Features
- 2 Club and 2 National Teams
- Real Player Names and Attributes
- Virtual Game Controller Interface
- Multiple Soccer Formations and Strategies
When first starting the app, the user can choose between a club match between Barcelona and Manchester United (under a fake name) or an international match between Spain and Brazil. All the real players from each team are modeled.
A Mobile Matchday
Before beginning a match, the stadium is chosen; the free version of Real Soccer Free features two stadiums. Following that, there is a detailed settings screen where the user can toggle various options like whether injuries occur, or the current form of each squad. Finally, once the kits are chosen for both teams, the match begins.
The user also has the option to change the squad’s formation and lineup, either at the beginning of the match or during a break in play. These screens are effectively designed, being reminiscent of the Pro Evolution Soccer series.
The Gameplay’s the Thing
Real Soccer Free uses a virtual game controller with a transparent interface as an overlay on top of the game screen. The controller contains a standard directional control and two buttons that are labeled “A” and “B”. While awkward at first, the scheme works effectively over time and practice. Losing a chunk of the game screen is the price to pay for a button-less multi-touch interface.
The Nintendo DS-level graphics are decent, but aren’t the equal of the PES or FIFA series for the Sony PSP. The gameplay is fun, but occasionally the interface gets in the way, especially when trying to “drag” the directional control to sprint. The game’s option to “shake sprint” works even less effectively.
The real disappointment of Real Soccer Free is the fact that the game ended after the first half. Granted this is a free download, and as such works well as an advertisement for the full game – at least let the people play one full match!