Super Party Sports: Football Review
Posted by Ken Barnes
Off your head
Indie titles are coming across to the Xbox One thick and fast and while some publishers are trying to port any old mobile game to the platform, that approach isn't necessarily going to work as gamers are getting wary. Fortunately though, some titles work just as well on console as they do on mobile.
Super Party Sports: Football is one of those games. The somewhat lame title would suggest some sort of bizarre Wii-quality soccer game with awful controls, but what you actually get is a serviceable 2D action puzzler that is a kind of hybrid of Angry Birds and Sega Soccer Slam. The premise is simple. You start with the ball at your feet on the left-hand side of the screen, and the aim is to destroy the opposing team's players (decapitating them or skewering them on spikes, in actual fact) by kicking the ball at them, avoiding obstacles and passing it to your teammates who are dotted around the map in order to line up your shots. Once you've taken them all down, the ball catches fire and you have to somehow kick it toward the goal so that it knocks the keeper for six and goes in. This is all against the clock, of course.
It sounds as easy as pie, but when you consider that you have to contend with spiky sections that will deflate your ambitions as if they were a plastic playball landing in a rose bush, reinforced opponents that will headbutt players out of commission, platforms, traps, gaps, ramps, blimps, eagle-eyed referees and all manner of other things, it becomes a lot more taxing. 100 levels are on offer here, split into groups of ten, and each of those levels will award you one, two, or three stars based on how much time you have left over when the ball goes into the net.
Along the way, you'll pick up coins, which can be used to purchase minor power-ups. For our money, the power-up system is never really as deep as it could be, offering you a selection from just a couple of available boosts before each level begins. To be fair though, it's unlikely that you'll need to use these until you get pretty close to the final rounds. Things start out at a relatively pedestrian pace, but by the time you've reached the third cup, Super Party Sports: Football starts to provide a somewhat stiffer challenge. It's the sort of challenge that requires pinpoint accuracy on every pass – although you'll get lucky with bounces in some cases, as you'd expect – but while the very simple controls (stick to aim and adjust power, A to kick) generally hold up well, there are times when the rotation of the aiming arrow is a little bit too swift and sensitive for our liking. Finally beating down the opposition and getting that shot on goal with just seconds to spare, only to over-rotate the cursor a tad too much and boot the ball over the bar isn't fun. As we say though, this does only happen on occasion. It just tends to happen when you least need it to, is all.
Super Party Sports: Football isn't a complex game by any means, as it features just the one mode of play. With that said, it's certainly one that will draw you back in from time to time until you've beaten all of the levels. What's here is a decent distraction that's nicely challenging, and even though it's over twice the price of the mobile versions at $4.99 (the iOS edition is $1.99) it remains relatively good value. It's not a game that was ever going to set the world alight and while we wish there was a bit more in the way of variation, it's an enjoyable way to pass a few hours.