Tuesday 13 July 2010

Flick Kick Football - Review

The best ideas are often the most simple and Flick Kick Football is up there with Flight Control as one of the most simple games for the iPhone.  And yet it's one of the best 59p titles available.

There's a lovely retro feel to the graphics, reminiscent of Roy of the Rovers, with two different challenge modes to compete in.

Arcade mode is all about simply putting the ball in the net and you simply stroke your finger over the ball to guide in the required direction.

However you start each game with zero lives so a miss on the first go and it's game over.  As the opening attempt sees you facing an empty net from 18 yards, that's surely impossible, right?  Well no, in order to earn lives you must hit the ball as close as you can to the woodwork in to hit the skill zone.  You can earn yourself up to three lives and as soon as you lose one the temptation is to try something a bit outlandish to earn it back.  And boy can you pull off some amazing shots, bending the ball high into the top corner from 35 yards just like Beckham.

It's easy to miss judge your shot by a fraction and see it bounce agonisingly wide or crash back off the bar.  However it's equally satisfying to hit it just right or pull of something stupendous, curling the ball round the wall and past the keeper.

The opposition is sometimes static, sometimes moving, the keepers just track left to right and there's no desperate diving saves to deny you but this just makes it all the more annoying when you hit him or a defender.  The levels get progressively harder, 85 sees you trying to score direct from a corner!

The iPhone is built for games like this, you feel in control of the ball and you're never left blaming anything other than your own lack of skill when you blaze one over the bar.  There's nothing complicated here to trip anyone up, the ball does what you tell it to, perfectly.

Time attack is the second mode and this is even more addictive.  There are two big changes here, firstly and rather obviously you are against the clock, you start with two minutes, but hitting the skill zone will claw back three seconds with a standard goal just brings back one.  There's no penalty for missing other than the clock continuing to count down but hitting three goals in a row gives you an added bonus.  FIRE BALL!!!

Fire Ball is a flaming ball (I guess that's obvious) that will pass through a defender or goal keeper, which can make a particularly difficult effort, through a five man wall for example, a whole lot easier.  Once used though it's gone and you'll have to hit another three in a row to earn it back.

The key in time attack though is hitting the skill zone to keep getting those precious three seconds back and extend your time and going for those shots risks a miss.

Flick Kick Football is one of the best games around for iPhone, hugely addictive and a joy to play.  It has a lovely feel to it and the occasional slow mo effect as the ball traces towards the skill zone helps to add to the sense of atmosphere.  The additional practice zone will help you hone your skills, but to be honest once you've done that for 30 seconds you'll want to be playing the game for real.

It will be interesting to see if there's any updates as the one thing it lacks is multi-player, so although you can compete with friends and brag about your score, there's no option to take it in turns to shoot or a co-op mode which would both be welcome.

Great stuff though and well worth your hard earned 59 pence.  (After posting this review and downloading the latest update I discovered there is now an additional target mode with static and moving targets to hit.  Sweet!)

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