Kicker app

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 13 December, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 13 December, 2009, 12:00am

Publisher EA Sports' video-game franchise Fifa 10 delivers the most entertaining football action to date on Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch, allowing users to play up to 20 tournaments and cup competitions.

Available for US$6.99 from the online App Store, the bundled con- tent on Fifa 10 makes the game excellent value with 31 leagues, more than 500 teams and 12,620 players. Team squads are those for the 2009/2010 season.

Fifa 10 does not provide the same polished graphics that hard- core enthusiasts are used to with high-definition console games. But for casual gamers on their way to work, school or the supermarket, the fast, furious and repetitive play on this small-screen version is engaging enough to make a detail- ed rendering of David Beckham's face unnecessary.

The grey semi-transparent controls on the screen are easy to learn and prompts provide hints and tips while users wait for matches to load.

A circular directional pad on the left of the touchscreen is used to make a player run and sprint.

The 'A' and 'B' buttons on the right of the screen are for attack and defence. While on the attack, press the 'A' button to pass the ball, or press and hold it for a longer pass. Press the 'B' button to shoot, or press and hold it to fire off a more powerful shot.

Don't be surprised if your shot sails past the goal the first few times. It takes practice to hit the mark spot on, with either a short or a long strike.

When defending, press the 'A' button to tackle your opponent, or press and hold it to pressure the player you're covering. Press the 'B' button to switch players, or hold it to call for a second defender.

What will keep users busy with Fifa 10 are its gameplay options, including the manager, tournament, professional, training and penalty shootout modes.

Manager mode puts a gamer in the position of the manager, making the decisions that affect which players are on the pitch and their play strategy.

Penalty shootout puts a gamer one-on-one with the goalie.

In professional mode, the game has six camera angles and amazing slow-motion replays of goals, fouls, free kicks and anything else you want to watch for a second time.

PROS: Adequate controls and plenty of matches worth replaying.

CONS: Generic-looking graphics.