41711476EA's FIFA franchise carries a 16 year history of creating a sim-like soccer experience on various console and computer systems. This, of course, has led to somewhat lofty expectations for the iPhone/iPod Touch version which is a bit of a mixed bag.

FIFA 10 has a ton of content consisting of 30 leagues, 570 teams and 12,620 players as well as 20 tournaments. While some may take issue with specific team omissions, let’s not forget the depth of content that is included. FIFA offers 4 levels of difficulty: Amateur, Semi-Pro, Professional, and World Class, and 5 modes of play: Tournament, Manager, Penalty, Training and Be A Pro. There is also a local Wi-Fi mode in which you can play against your friends.

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Tournament mode allows you to play in any of 20 tournaments and is where most will spend their time. The presentation of the different groupings and post-games scores are well designed and part of the enjoyment is the simplicity in which you can easily scroll through the results of the daily matches. Manager mode allows you to manage your own team and provides a set of season objectives that must be met to succeed and continue to the next season. These can be as straightforward as securing a winning to season to more difficult objectives such as winning the finals. Be A Pro is a rather interesting mode where you guide a player through a full career. You can either use an existing player from the 12,000+ included in the game or create your own. When creating your own, you can customize player attributes including speed, shooting and tackling among others as well as play a specific position (e.g. goal keeper, defender, etc.). Finally, Penalty mode pits your team against others in penalty shooting contests, where success will lead to additional contests.

55417737FIFA 10 also provides plenty of customization options depending on the mode of play including minutes in a half, camera angles, HUD layouts, weather conditions, time of day, commentary on/off and more. The replay system and camera angles are among the best you’ll find on the iPhone. Replays can be viewed from multiple angles, zoomed in/out, and played at various speeds.

FIFA 10 is billed as a visual extravaganza amongst soccer games, but the reality is that it could be better. While it does deliver decently designed stadiums and lush playing fields, the players themselves lack any basic facial characteristics, which is disappointing. Often, I find that the commentary audio used in sports games don't match up well with the gameplay, but, fortunately for FIFA fans, the commentary in FIFA 10 is relatively good and some of the more accurate you’ll hear. The actual sound quality of the announcers, however, seem particularly muddled, presumably due to excess data compression to reduce the game's size.

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The biggest hurdle for many, however, will be the controls found in FIFA 10, especially compared to the other App Store offerings. Moving the player can be done by either a virtual d-pad or the accelerometer. Unlike Real Soccer 10 and X2 Football, however, the control pad is fixed in place rather than floating. As a result, there is the frustrating tendency for your thumb to slide off the edge of the screen especially during sprints. Meanwhile, even with sensitivity tweaks, the accelerometer's accuracy left much to be desired.

In addition, two key action buttons—A and B (a C button is also provided when using accelerometer controls)—are provided. Through a combination of taps of these buttons, specific commands are carried out. The basic offense commands are relatively simple for passing (A), shooting (B), and sprinting (C when using accelerometer controls). However, when attempting other commands such as lobbing or attempting a 1-2 pass, the learning curve can be quite high. For example, a lobbed through ball requires sliding from B to A to B, while a 1-2 pass involves sliding from A to B to A. Even crossing a ball isn’t as easy as it sounds.

On defense, tapping on the B button will switch control from player to player, or you can simply tap on a specific player. Again, specific actions such as tackling and slide tackles require a certain combination of taps. A to B for slide tackles and while a standing tackle only involves tapping A. I understand that EA is attempting to provide a variety of moves, and the controls overall are solid after overcoming the learning curve. But at the same time, they don’t feel as accurate as they could be, especially compared to other App Store soccer games.

Once you overcome the controls, the gameplay itself is rather enjoyable with a balanced AI. Even on the Amateur setting, FIFA 10 can be challenging. The game does an admirable job creating an immersive experience from the better than average commentary to the intense gameplay. Like most soccer games, teammates can sometimes react poorly, but seems to be less of a problem with FIFA 10. Depending on your success, you also unlock rewards that provide additional training, home stadium upgrades, and even unlock an additional teams. These all contribute to a well-balanced game.

FIFA 10 is not perfect by any means, although it does offer a good deal of depth and is well-balanced in AI gameplay, with mostly top-notch graphics. EA has delivered a well-presented and well-packaged soccer experience in FIFA 10, but then again, it’s up to you to figure out all the intricacies.

App Store Links: FIFA 10 (U.S.), $9.99, FIFA 10 (International)

TouchArcade Rating

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  • Matthew

    I am loving this game more then any game ive purchased from the app store before. Many times with games that have a price point above $4.99 you feel that you've been ripped off by the content you get for the value. This game is different than all of those games and I couldnt be happier with my purchase. The features, unlockables, gameplay, and rosters make this a great and addicting game that you won't be bored with after a week or two.

    That said I do have a few issues with the game. One is that every time I exit the game or even the manager mode my lineup jumbles itself up and commonly I'll have my goalie playing as a striker and my reserve goalie as a midfield player with similar mixups throughout the lineup. I've learned to just deal with it but I shouldn't have to "deal" with anything for a game that is $9.99

    Also I wish there was a search function in the transfer market. Since the rosters are up to date as of the close of the window (Damien Duff is still on Newcastle) but some rosters moves have been updated I don't really know where to look for the players I'm searching for. Even if I want to just pick up a back up goalie or midfielder and have no one special in mind I need to search through all the different leagues and teams one at a time until I find a player I like.

    Those two issues aside the gameplay is great, I am excited to play through a full season and see how the game plays out but I know this is one app I won't be tired of anytime soon.

  • monkeys37

    Xavi an 84? You have got to be kidding me.

    • Marcos

      I agree....Xavi should be alot higher!

  • http://www.games121.com Erman Haskan

    X2 soccer 2009 is still better than RS 2010 and FIFA 10. It has better animations, better gameplay and (i believe) better graphics. More fun.

  • qaiz

    This is an amazing game. First off it's only 61.6 mb so it's really small against most 'gameloft' games. It's also an amazing looking game,looks much better the the ds version and better game play then the ds version! You cant expect more from a game on a ipod/iphone! Frame rate is also great,commentary is a bit weird but you get used to it. If only it had the proper kits eg: AIG on the man u kit.
    In all it's amazing! Best iphone game yet and the highest life expectancy of any game on the app store!

  • joni

    X2 soccer 2009 is better....

  • menom

    Thanks to Matthew!

    You told me what I needed to know.

    I'll have to get this now - if it has Newcastle it does have leagues below the Premiership in England - I quite liked Real Football 09 and was thinking of getting X2 - but if I can't play as Crystal Palace, those games just can't be as engrossing

    getting this for def' - whether or not controls match those of other football apps

    • DannyV

      Yeah I feel ya. That's exactly why I got it too, because it's got the team I love. Even though X2 might have better visuals or whatever I still like this one better because it has my league and my teams.

  • Kass

    HAHA Xavi Hernández at 84 is taking the mickey

    • monkeys37

      It's hilarious, isn't it? Same as Toure?? They should've gotten someone who's actually watched a few matches to do their player ratings.

  • Reeco

    Great game, Great graphics, packed full of stuff. Its funny that Swansea City (My Team) have kit sponsers but Man u dont.

    Scored some fantastic goals, and all goals are different which is great.

    Love this game. Great Job EA.

  • Fritz

    Real Soccer is quite fun.. but online is shit!
    FIFA 10 has great amount of modes but the gameplay is bullshit!
    Then X2 football has great gameplay but not that many content!!!!:(

    Why can't they put all in one game? That would be perfect!

    • http://able2know.org/ Robert Gentel

      I agree, the gameplay on FIFA is just plain frustrating and the ones with good gameplay have bogus teams and players.

      FIFA was a big disappointment to me.

  • Faceman

    I just want to be able to play Wales v Russia.

    For no reason other than to see WAL-RUS on the scoreboard :-)

    • Sam

      Stolen from sickipedia!

  • Zack

    hey few questions:

    1- for those of you who own the game, do u think it would be beneficial for apple to create a gamepad accessory for better controls?

    2- isnt the lack of online multiplayer a big thing. Wouldnt it be great if you could play random people around the world? why are people not talking about this lack of functionality a bit more.

    3- the review here said that they compressed the size (which i assume resulted in bad graphics) why would they do that, I would much rather a 1gb game with amazing graphics, i mean the new ipod touch goes to 64gb. and you could always unsync apps u dont need. the iphone and ipod touch are huge, why are they compressing games?

    thnx

    • arn

      compressed audio. no one said anything about the graphics.

      arn

      • Zack

        thnx for the clarification arn. Yet this raises another question. We know that the iphone (especially the 3gs is capable of competing with the psp) why then do they make the graphics on these games really sucky. I mean will anyone complain if this game is close to 1gb? cause thats what psp games are at right? why are they compromising on graphics in order to make the game small. the ipod touches now come in 64gb.

    • http://deleted munkee

      1. yes

      2. EA promised to include it in a future update, so until they give further announcement, eg. they cancel it, no one really knows what to say. One thing everyone notices is there's a 'DOWNLOAD' button under 'My Fifa 10', possibly for future download-able contents from EA.

      This is the best football game on AppStore so far, go get it!

  • Noobatizer

    I'll be honest. At first I hated FIFA because I just kept loosing my matches.
    I failed hard, unable to make good touches, passes, movements and goals.

    After continuous practice everything started to come together, I began to thank EA for making more complex and varied controls. Now I can play FIFA with even more accuracy in the style of play that I want to attempt.

    The controls are difficult but not impossible. The controls are ones that take time to get used to, but with practice you can master them.

    X2 is shallow but has a great gameplay engine
    Real Soccer is not fluid but is packed with content

    FIFA gets the closest to having BOTH great content and a well made football engine.

  • http://www.wordpress.com/appsandstuff Addicted2waffle

    I wan't this game so mutch.. But i hate using 10$ on apps, but its better than using 120$ on the xbox 360 game (norwegian prices.. Why so f**** stiff prices... Well im going to buy this game anyways.. I did not think the manager mode was in this version of the game, but OMG this obe has lots of content.
    I agree that the game size should have been larger.. At least 500 mb.

    I'm hoping Fifa Manager coming for iphone.. Has it for mobile :)

    ps i have a small website that is crappy.. Its called Appsandstuff..

    • sufy

      Yeah thats true 500mb atleast maybe more!

  • BushDoctor

    Football is an idiot game where 22 try to catch a tiny ball...now it even smaller than in the television just becouse the screen IS even smaller. I never will to buy any football games. Its a pure form of wasting time and money.

    • GameHead

      then why the hell did you even bother posting here???

      FIFA 10 is good, although i noticed during replays of successful goals the looks of the players are changing like the hair will turn from blonde to black then blonde again. But the game is great overall, quite more challenging compared to GL RS10...

  • Allan

    I have to say I was MEGA disappointed with this. The graphics are terrible and the overall play is even worse. Nothing good about it at all. The RF series from Gameloft are better than this crap.

  • prad

    I think for everyone who has tried this game, and those who have posted the on here to say that this game is a disappointment need to give this game a little bit more time.

    When real soccer came out I was amazed at the game, and I could not believe a game like that was available on the iphone. I played it non-stop, well as much as I could. I ended up getting all the cups etc... and that was it, everything else was very much boring. I played all the games on Normal. I tried to play on hard and no matter what I did, I could not get the passes to stick, long passes/lobbed passes did not have a chance etc. Furthermore, I was disappointed after a while at the predictability of the game. More often than not, you don't get a loose ball scenario. The ball is always on a players foot etc... One thing I enjoyed about Real Soccer 09 was the controls, they were quick to learn, and the tricks were easy to execute, but at the same time when you are in a pressure situation it was awkward. One thing that I hated about some of the soccer games, was making the shoot button as the slide tackle button ? I don't know why you want to do that. When you are in a penalty area, and trying to go for a shot the last thing you want to do is slide tackle the goal keeper and get a red card. At this stage I thought that Real Soccer was the best game out, especially the best soccer game on the iphone.

    I purchased X2, purely because I was bored of Real Soccer 09. When I played X2, I found it to be a bit more fluent than Real Soccer, it was a lot faster and little more enjoyable. The concept of teh loose ball was there, and it was enjoyable. However, I have noticed people stating that the graphics on X2 is better or the best, and I don't what version of X2 everyone has but my one sucks! When the player runs, it looks like a three frame gif image on repeat. There is no sense of motion in the game. After spending so much time with Real Soccer, X2 had a little but of getting used to. But in the end you realize that compared to Real Soccer 09, X2 is probably something that will give you a little bit more enjoyment for a longer period of time. The controls good, the introduction of the third button is great. The commentary is awful, I don't know how many times I've hear "Timed it well and took the ball", but the replay controls are great. The teams etc.. comps are pretty crap.

    I then realised that Real Soccer 10 had come out. I was pretty happy when I saw it on the app store, and I had to check on the internet to make sure that it was legit. But when I got Real Soccer 10, I was really disappointed the game play was exactly like Real Soccer 09. There was no new controls/tricks etc... it was boring playing it. Enter the legend is great, and multiplayer mode is great (if it doesn't keep jogging and quitting unexpectedly). It looks liek there are other comps etc, but all in all regardless of how many comps you have if the game play is ordinary then the game soon become boring.

    I had real soccer10 for about 3 weeks before seeing Fifa 10, the strange thing was that I was reading an article about Fifa 10 for Xbox/pc and was thinking when EA will release it for the iphone. I straight away got the app, started it and went it to quick game to get the feeling of the game. I thought that the menu structure and everything is great, but the game play felt hard (even in the amature mode), the controls felt impossible and everything just seemed too hard. I gave up on FIFA10 for a couple of days, and then gave it one more shot. I went into the training to figure out how to cross the ball, strike etc... I then went into Manager Mode (selected Liverpool) and started a season with them. 10 games in and boy has the feeling of playing soccer on xbox returned, the excitement was all there (p.s by game 3 I was playing semi-pro, and by game 8 I was playing Professional). The game feels real! The player movements etc are all great. I started to get teh hang of the controls, and started to understand the how to play it. This is by far the best game of soccer on the iphone to date, and I think EA is on to winner. However, I hope EA invests a bit of money and fix up some of the gripes people have stated. Just to name a couple of mine 1) The direction controler is annoying, check out Real Soccer and X2 to get some inspiration. 2) A,B buttons are tiny(I know that you can increase the size of the buttons, but it doesn't work for me and I've reported a potential bug) and sometimes non-responsive, EA should consider bringing in a third button. 3) Add some tricks to the player instead of one trick per player. 4) It is difficult to shoot in a penalty area when you are scrambling, I haven't been able to do that yet. 5) Replay controls are crap! 6) Applying pressure while defending is crap, once your player is behind the opponent there is no chance of getting the ball. 7) Please allow shielding of the ball!!! 8) Need a better way to sprint, its hard to bring the player off sprint to make a tackle. Actually tackling itself needs to be re-visited. 9) Online multiplayer, Even though it sucks in Real Soccer 10?? 10) Ditch any further advances in the accelorometer, it is great as a gimmick... but you can't really play it at an airport/train/while you are waiting... well you just can't play it in public without looking like there is something wrong with you!

    What are of the areas that I have enjoyed about Fifa 10 ? Well the manager mode absolutely rocks, there is definitely re-playability in this game with this feature, it doesn't look like it will end with one season. Some, yes that's right, some of the controls are actually pretty good once you get the hang of it. I like the idea of combos!! Be a Pro rocks my world! Overall game play, the intensity, the likeness of real soccer!

    I believe Fifa 10 is by the best game on the Iphone at the moment, probably only game that will eclipse it will be Fifa 11 or RTS game of some kind! Fifa 10 takes some getting used to, but looking at the game that's ok because you'll most likely be playing this game for a long time! There are some areas to improve, which I hope EA will bring out a good update shortyl...

    Thanks for reading this.

    • Gadm

      you are welcome

      great comment btw, i am downloading now

    • MoneymakerM5

      That just convinced me to buy Fifa

      Thanks

    • Wickman

      This review just convinced me to get FIFA 10. I have been debating about RS 10 and FIFA 10 ever since they came out. After reading this review, I am getting FIFA 10 and I hope that I will enjoy it until FIFA 11. I am a die hard soccer fan, and will always play FIFA wherever and whenever I can. Thanks for the convincng review Prad.