Video gaming

Game review– Tiny Striker: World Football is as good as it gets for mobile soccer

Although the matches are mostly just chances for you to show off your swiping skills, there’s a strong managerial component to the game that sets it apart

PUBLISHED : Monday, 13 March, 2017, 8:03pm
UPDATED : Monday, 13 March, 2017, 8:03pm

Tiny Striker: World Football

Fat Fish Games

4/5 stars

Translating a much-loved sport to a pared-down mobile release is no easy task. Equal measures of realism, reference and pure entertainment must be combined in a light and easy-to-play release. The original Tiny Striker, released in 2014, was a decent attempt to hit that mark, with an emphasis on small-scale scoring mechanics and swipe-friendly controls.

But the sequel, World Football (available for Android and iOS), significantly amps up the concept, keeping the flick-based gameplay but boosting the graphics to slick 3D and generally making it more accessible to fans of the sport. It’s a little bit Fifa, a little bit Football Manager, but friendly enough to be played by any casual gamer.

Gamers choose their favourite club (England-based to begin with, but eventually a few European sides, too), before entering a league setting. Most of the game is made up of match-based challenges, where you’ll use your superior finger-swiping skills to trick through defenders, loop balls past keepers and generally pull highly unrealistic time-freezing stunts to score the most ridiculous goals.

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But there’s a strong managerial side to the game as well, including transfers, as well as training and performance. The former comes through hard-earned wins or using in-game currency, while the latter is boosted through various special boots and cards. Both add much-needed tactics to the game, and as you move your way up the league tables, expand on the club offerings and generally aim for success, there’s a sense of satisfaction to the admittedly simplistic proceedings.

The game is free to play, but as mentioned, the deeper you get into its world, the more likely it is you’ll throw down some real cash. That, and the mostly subtle ads, is how developer Fat Fish is making its money, but it’s far from a bombardment of banners and purchases, and while you’ll end up spending a few bucks, it’s far from excessive.

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World Striker is far from the realistic slice of soccer most of us are looking for, but it’s going to be a long while before you’ll be able to play anything remotely authentic on your mobile. This release might not satisfy hardcore fans of soccer games like the Fifa series, but with its one-minute matches, mostly entertaining gameplay and varied levels of immersion, it’s the best you’re going to get.