Category Archives: Sports

Classic Reload - 'Desert Golfing'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the Classic Reload, the monthly feature where can't seem to get ourselves out of the bunker. Each month, we take a look at a game from the App Store's past to see how it holds up in the here and now. It's a chance to revisit old favorites, reflect on their place in the iOS library, or simply to take a deeper dive than our reviews typically allow for. As the driver of this doomed golf cart, I try to choose a good selection of games from month to month. That said, if there's something you want to see, don't be shy! You can leave suggestions below in the comments. I can't promise it will appear soon, but it will be added to the master list for future consideration...

'Pixel Soccer' Is the Retro Arcade Football Title That the App Store Deserves, Launching Late 2017

After Arsenal's stunning FA Cup success last weekend, only the Champions League final on Saturday separates soccer fans from the tedious abyss of endless transfer rumors and no competitive footballing action that is the summer months. However, with the latest entries in the big name franchises such as FIFA Mobile [Free] and PES 2017 [Free] dropping the (foot)ball with limited and incomplete takes on the soccer simulator genre, the door has opened for indie developers to take the initiative and provide the iOS iteration of the sport that The Beautiful Game deserves. Up steps Pixel Soccer to the penalty spot - taking influence from titles such as Sensible Soccer, Super Rock Games have created an accesisble yet deceptively complex football title that looks immensely promising, and I can't wait to try it out when it launches on the App Store in the coming months...




It may seem superficially tedious to anyone who has no interest in soccer, but the PES vs FIFA rivalry every year is not merely a quest for internet clicks, but one that has a significant amount of importance for any fans of The Beautiful Game. I've personally been firmly in the FIFA camp since 2007, however the past year has been something of an identity crisis for EA's commercial giant. The console version of FIFA 17, despite its flashy Frostbite engine, came across a bit sluggish and pedestrian for my tastes; the FIFA Mobile [Free] iteration that launched shortly after its bigger brother stripped the actual football for a strange minigame-focused card collecting spinoff, and is certainly better left forgotten. In spite of FIFA's profligacy, Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer series has taken the reins - with a focus on slick arcade footballing action, the console version was arguably this year's definitive soccer title, and the mobile version of PES 2017 [Free] has finally today launched worldwide on the App Store after an extended soft launch period since last December...

A couple of weeks ago a nifty minimalist skiing game called Just Ski [$0.99] hit the App Store. It's from developer Jeff Weber, who previously brought us the not-quite-as-minimalist skiing game Krashlander [$1.99], and despite looking like a simple side-scrolling skiing game Just Ski actually used more sim-like physics and mechanics. I've seen plenty of people who picked up Just Ski struggle with coming to grips with the system, but eventually things "clicked" and they went on to really enjoy the game. In the world of mobile games though, struggling through that initial learning curve can be a tall order, and I've seen just as many people pick up the game and then quit in frustration before having it click. With that in mind, Weber has released a quick tutorial video which should hopefully let people see how Just Ski works and hopefully make it easier to grasp...

FIFA Mobile Soccer [Free] developers have been increasingly trying to improve the game, and today's big update is another step in that direction. The new VS Attack Mode will replace the old Attack Mode and will feature simultaneous matches against opponents in real-time instead of the turn-based matches of old. This change should alleviate the frustration of waiting for opponents to take turns and then playing against AI versions of teams rather than against the actual players. Hopefully this will make that mode more fun to play. VS Attack will officially be available on May 24th...

If you're one of the many players of FIFA Mobile Soccer [Free], you'll be glad to know that starting tomorrow and for each Friday until July 3rd, you'll be enjoying various Team of the Season events, players, and items. Every Friday, the game will be celebrating one of the top five leagues in the game—Germany's Bundesliga, Italy's Calcio A, Spain's La Liga Santander, France's Ligue 1, and England's Premier League. Each Team of the Season Friday will bring along 23 players (11 starters and 12 reserves) who'll be chosen based on their performance in their domestic leagues. You'll be able to grab those players either through the Starters Plan or the Reserve Plan...

In early February we learned that Djinnworks would be taking on the sport of skateboarding with their popular Stickman aesthetic in a game called Stickman Skate Park. Then in late March, we got word that Stickman Skate Park had been renamed Stickman Skate Battle to put emphasis on its online multiplayer battling. Now, following a short beta test period, Stickman Skate Battle [Free] has arrived as of early yesterday. It offers a bunch of different parks to skate in, plus tons of unlockable characters and skate equipment. Check out the launch trailer to see Stickman Skate Battle in action...

FIFA Mobile Soccer [Free] is moving to add Team of the Season, but the developers are planning on doing it differently from the way console FIFA does it. Although we won't have all the details until a couple of weeks from now, the developers have given some hints as to how Team of the Season will look like. The developers will only release squads for the five major European Leagues (Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and England), and they will follow the Console release schedule. For instance, when the console version releases the England TOTS, so will the mobile version...

A bit over a year ago, I previewed an MMA Management game called Fight Team Rivals [Free] and liked what I saw. After quite a bit of time in development, the game is finally out and ready for you to test your MMA skills. Quite a bit has changed since I checked out the game, but at its core is still all about training a team of martial artists across disciplines, trying to build a strong, well-rounded gym, and picking the best tactics for the fights. The game has you taking on all kinds of event types, including single discipline tournaments, style-vs-style showcases, and even asymmetric tag-team fights. You can also take on opposing teams in Rivals mode...

'Gameday Live' Is Looking to Be the 'Clash Royale' of Football Management, Launching Worldwide Soon

For many, myself included, football (occasionally called soccer in select regions of the world) is less a game, and more an intrinsic ritual firmly embedded in everyday life. If anything's certain in this world, it's death, taxes, and Arsenal losing on a mild Monday evening. However, outside of the excellent solo experience of Football Manager Mobile 2017 [$8.99], or the better forgotten free-to-play experiment that was last year's FIFA Mobile [Free], there hasn't been a true online soccer simulator that can help hasten the agonising wait between match days. Gameday Live, from BAFTA-winning developers Stuart Reid and Stuart Anderson at Digital Sports Arena, is looking to remedy this issue, and has turned the art of football management into what they describe as a Clash Royale [Free]-esque real time online simulator. Having soft launched in Australia, Canada and Holland back in 2016, Gameday Live is approaching its global launch in the coming months, and an official trailer gives us a good look at what to expect from this groundbreaking football title when it kicks off around the globe...

The Football Manager franchise has claimed too many happy lives in the past because not many can resist its siren-like wiles and actually stop playing long enough to sustain human relationships. Football Manager Mobile 2017 [$8.99], the latest iteration of the iPhone version of the game, might not have the depth of its older brother, Football Manager Touch 2017, but it's still a fun version of the best sports management game on the App Store. The game is currently at its lowest price ever, so if you've been waiting for it to get cheaper, you should pull the trigger as soon as possible,..

Sometimes I see people share negative reviews of Steam games that have massive playtimes on them. They're shared in a context of this being ridiculous, that implies that the person with the negative review doesn't know quite what they want. And the people who share these seeming contradictions are often rather progressive people, sharing a rather ironically regressive view. It's a more complicated question than both parties realize. The negative reviewer perhaps should question whether the journey was worth it. But also, the critic should question just why they think it's hypocritical. Is it possible that people enjoy certain parts of experiences, but other parts become too grating over time? That, if they had the choice to take those hours back, they would have spent them differently knowing the end result? Or were the hours getting to that point worth it, even if the end was sour? This is a philosophical dilemma that deserves greater inquiry. I bring it up because I find myself quite conflicted with MLB Manager 2017 [$4.99]. It's another solid baseball simulator, but as a major baseball nerd, I find myself frustrated by so many of the little things that this game continues to not get right. Yet, I find myself more hooked on this game than perhaps any other that I come across...

This is a good week for baseball fans with so many baseball games releasing on mobile, so this has been a good week for me, one J. Carter Dotson. The latest edition of MLB Manager, the mobile baseball simulator series from baseball simulator experts OOTP Developments is now available, MLB Manager 2017 [$4.99]. The biggest new feature is the new interface. It's mostly a visual overhaul, and if you've played the Manager games before, you'll know how it feels. Yet, it feels just a bit nicer to use, the interactions are quicker, things are ordered in a way that makes sense. There's still some oddities, like tapping on a name to switch a pitcher, but you have to tap on the substitution icon for a pinch hitter. It still has that MLB Manager quirkiness, but the whole thing feels just that much more smooth and a little more streamlined, and over the dozens of hours this game is designed to encompass for players, that's a great feeling...

It's time for another season of retro baseball made modern, as RBI Baseball 17 [$4.99] is now on iOS. For the second year in a row, MLB Advanced Media has gotten the mobile version of RBI out the same day as the console versions, with most of the features at a quarter of the price! The cover athlete for the 2017 version is Corey Seager, star shortstop for the Dodgers; the user interface has gotten a fresh coat of paint. Other than that, there's not any major new features in the 2017 version at a quick glance. All 30 stadiums, and full rosters with regular updates are here, though...

'Pixel Volley' Offers Extreme and Accessible Volleyball Action, Serving Onto the App Store April 5th

There has been a recent trend in video games as a whole to take a sport at its most mundane level and then dial it up to 11, all the while adding rockets, spikes, and other precarious obstacles that turn what could otherwise be a leisurely activity into an extreme attempt at survival. Rocket League took football (incorrectly called soccer by some), added rockets, and the rest is history. Recently on iOS, Golf Zero [Free] turned the sedate and slow act of putting into maniacal platforming mayhem, and as a result received glowing praise in our recent review. Pixel Volley is looking to follow in the footsteps of these titles, and will provide accessible volleyball action with a whole host of customisable options - as well as a number of entirely lethal twists lurking around every net - when it launches on the App Store for free on April 5th...

'Golf Zero' Review - Jump and Shoot

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March 23rd, 2017 11:15 AM EDT by Chris Carter in 4.5 stars, Free, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Puzzle, Reviews, Sports, Universal
Free Buy Now

I learned golf from the NES, and the SNES changed my perception of how far the concept could go. One of the most engrossing games I've ever played was Kirby's Dream Course on the Super Nintendo. I waltzed right into a Blockbuster Video one day and picked it up just because of the cover, and three days later I wasn't ready to return it...

I don't think it's a secret that ever since FIFA decided to move away from making a game about playing the actual sport, football (soccer) games on the App Store have been few and far between. Active Soccer 2 DX is definitely a pretty good one, and now we have Dream League Soccer 2017 [Free], which looks like a pretty good soccer game in the few minutes I messed with it. I didn't see a gazillion menus like in other games that shall not be named, and the actual gameplay is pretty good; the animations are smooth, the player movement is good—if a little on the slow side—and overall it looks enjoyable enough...

Football Manager Touch 2017 [$19.99 (HD)] is probably my favorite iPad game right now, and I admit spending too many hours trying to help my pretty bad Liverpool team do anything better than a 6th place finish. The developers have been fixing the game's issues in a string of updates, but the 17.3.0 update is not just about bug fixing; more importantly, it is about the big winter transfer window data update that brings the game up to date with everything that's been going on in the world of soccer. If you aren't familiar with the customary winter update, it brings the game's rosters up to date, so when you start a new game, you get the right players in the right teams. It also brings player stats up to date, ensuring that, once again, the game reflects the reality of soccer today...

It's no secret that the App Store currently lacks any good soccer games, especially after FIFA Mobile Soccer ended up being more of a card game and less of a sports game. One of the most entertaining soccer games out there is Active Soccer 2, which - shockingly - focuses on actually playing soccer, and now we just got Active Soccer 2 DX [$2.99], an improved version of Active Soccer 2 that comes with some new features and plenty of little improvements. There are some gameplay improvements like a dedicated dash button, many more teams, updates to team data and competitions to bring them up to date, classic teams addition (with the likes of Maladona and Cruiff), and more...

FIFA Mobile [Free] continues to offer event after event, and even though personally I couldn't really get into the game, I know many out there have been enjoying EA's offering. The latest event, in celebration of the Carnival, is called the Carniball. The event is running from today until March 6th, and it offers special Packs and Live Events that will offer the opportunity to unlock up to 7 Carniball Master Player Items. Opening Country-specific Party Packs will give you Mask and Confetti Tokens (appropriately) and more rarely Carniball-themed Payers. You'll open the Party Starter Pack you'll find in your collection to receive your first Carniball Broken Mask Players, and then completing their Plan will unlock a Masked version...

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