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‘Flick Soccer!’ Review – Bend it like Beckham! (Using Your Finger, Though)

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Flick Soccer! [99¢] by Full Fat Games is a penalty-shooting soccer game. Games like this feel like mini-games. The type of thing you wouldn’t necessarily play for hours, but might jump on for 10 minutes of casual game-play, while waiting for something.  This game has nice graphics of the pitch, goal and stadium, complete with a cheering crowd and a goalie who does warm up exercises. And it opens with a surprisingly  decent rock song complete with vocals.

To shoot at the goal, you simply swipe across the ball in the desired direction, with short swipes to keep the ball low, or longer swipes to aim high.  You can curve the ball with a curved swipe, or do a second swipe while the ball is in-flight to add after-touch. These curved shots are useful for confusing the goal-keeper, swerving around defenders,  trying to correct a bad shot or for targeting with more accuracy. And it definitely feels great to curve your shot perfectly between the goal keeper and defender for a perfect bulls-eye!

There’s five different modes of play, with game center rankings for each mode plus 25 achievements. In Quick-shot mode you try to hit a target within the goal-mouth, which features a bulls-eye with two surrounding bands. You earn extra game-play time, depending which part of the target you strike. In this mode the goalie keeps improving, so it’s best to make your initial shots count. The longer you survive, the higher the level you reach.

You’re given three balls in Endurance mode, but each time you miss the target, you lose that ball. You get extra balls back by striking the bulls-eye. The goalie is not alone in this game, as some defenders will stand between you and the goal, wisely covering their privates for protection. And power-ups float across the goal-mouth, which can be stuck by the ball to earn extra points or extra balls.

Challenge mode is a slower-paced game, with emphasis on accuracy rather than speed. You get exactly five shots to achieve the score required for bronze, silver or gold medals, which unlock the next skill level. The aim is to gain promotions from ‘Trainee’, through the ranks, right up to ‘Superstar’. This mode helps increase the replay value, as it’s tempting to strive for the promotions.

The worst mode is definitely Crossbar mode, which requires constant long swipes to hit the top crossbar of the goal repeatedly, over and over and over, again and again. This mode requires less skill and quickly becomes repetitive and boring and could potentially lead to an iOS hand injury.

The final mode is Smash It, which is all about kicking the ball into panes of glass, positioned around the goal mouth, so they shatter. The most notable aspect of this mode is that the glass panes each display advertisements for the developers (FullFat) or their games. I didn’t mind the product placements when they displayed their advertisements on every single banner in the background stadium and on the scrolling electronic billboards around the pitch, and on the loading screens, and on the pop-up which intrusively appears when the game starts and requires a click to remove, but… also placing their advertisements right there on the targets, in the very center of the screen as part of the gameplay, seems a bit cheeky, since we’ve paid for the game.

There are tons of flick-style soccer penalty-shot games in the AppStore, such as Flick Football [99c/Lite], Flick Kick Football [99¢/Lite], and even Full Fat’s own Dead Ball Specialist [$5.99/HD], which has gotten rather pricey with the recent App Store pricing adjustments. These are 3 of our favorites in the genre, and Flick Soccer! is another solid – though not groundbreaking – entry if you’re looking for something new and can put up with the somewhat obtrusive cross-promotion advertising.

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