New Star Soccer – Review

A review of New Star Soccer I wrote for the website www.square-go.com

It is a rare thing to pick up a game, start playing it and it’s just right. This is how this kind of game should be made, we just didn’t know it until we played this game. This is what it is like to play New Star Soccer on whatever iOS device you fancy.

New Star Soccer (NSS) is essentially a football RPG; you start out as a 16 year old at a non-league club, not even a pair of boots to your name. Your ultimate goal is to get from here to being a rich Premier League level Footballer with a girlfriend and a massive house and ideally trophies coming out of your ears.

How do you do this? With Stars, the currency of the game. You get paid in Stars, you can attract Sponsors to give you more Stars, you can even take a Star bribe if you want to. You can spend these Stars on new boots, energy drinks to boost your energy so you can train harder to improve your stats. But you’re a footballer so it’s not just about the game, you can also buy fancy watches and expensive cars and games of roulette down the casino.

At some point, however, you will have to play a game of football which is where NSS takes the addiction level and dusts it lightly with the finest Columbian White Gold. Matches look simple, with little bits of text filling you in on the game’s events. But then you get a chance to make your mark on the game; there is an overhead view of the pitch with several of your teammates and opponents dotted around. You then set the power of your pass by touching the ball and pulling back and aiming it towards your target. When you let go of the ball it cuts to a close up of it, you touch the ball to set the spin and height of your shot.

And that’s it. It takes a couple of seconds to make your play, be it a curled pass around a tight defence or a thirty-yard scorcher into the top corner. It’s a system that takes a moment to pick up yet has a huge amount of depth that enables you to pick and choose exactly how you want to play the game.

The game looks basic but that is the game’s ace hidden up its sleeve; the players may be tiny and nameless but when you chip a forty yard pass over a group of opponents and he buries it in the bottom corner you will love him, you will punch the air and sing songs in his honour.

NSS’s closest comparison would be Football Manager, a game that sucks you in and doesn’t let you go. It’s a game that you will play whilst hours pass and days fall off the calendar. It’s not without its flaws; sometimes you have to intercept a pass from your opponent which this is done by moving your player around with your finger, which means that you can neither see your player or the path of the ball you’re trying to intercept.

But that’s it. That is pretty much the only flaw in this game. NSS is without a doubt the best football game you can play on iOS, better than anything FIFA or any of that ilk can do. And all this for less than the price of a packet of Panini football stickers.

Five stars out of five

Originally published May 28th 2012

 

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