The World Cup kicks off today, and if you want to play some soccer on your iPhone you should get the best game available. We’re here to help to give you a breakdown on which game is the best.
The controls are the biggest component of these games, as they all share relatively the same game modes just with different names. The controls dictate the gameplay whether it’s fast paced or more tedious. The games all share a similar control style with a control stick on the left, and pass/pressure and shoot/slide buttons on the right.
FIFA 10 by EA SPORTS™ ($6.99) by Electronic Arts is the biggest name in soccer games, and provides the authentic fifa franchised leagues and teams. You can play any league play, or a special career mode known as be a pro. The game provides relatively realistic movements for the iPhone.
The game is pretty easy to control though it doesn’t offer smooth change of direction or speed. The game doesn’t feel as free flowing as you would expect for soccer, and thus goals are hard to come by. Passing isn’t as precise as you would like, and when you come across a defender it’s tough to get by them as they will either steal the ball or intercept a pass attempt.
Fifa 10 plays pretty well once you get the hang of the controls, but not being able to switch players, and no ability for a quick movements or shots really keep it back.
FIFA World Cup™ ($4.99) by Electronic Arts features the same engine, but is the official game of the 2010 World Cup. There aren’t as many features as Fifa 10, but if you want to play the world cup with the exact match-ups this is the choice. The game has the same control issues, and lack of free flowing fun.
The game is the same as Fifa 10, just with the World Cup so everything above counts here. It’s fun to play through the actual world cup, and with a current sale of only $0.99 it will be fun once through. You get to play as any country you like, and the simulation will always give you a different draw after the opening qualifiers. EA’s engine is just not very conducive to long term enjoyment.
The game is more simplistic than the full featured Fifa game, and is really only and all about the world Cup so keep that in mind.
X2 Soccer 2010 ($6.99) by X2 Games is a redone version of the hit 2009 game, and it improves everything of that one. The game provides league play of every league around the world, plus there is a dream team mode to start weakly, and earn tokens to get the best players. The game provides online multiplayer though it has a tough time connecting.
The game is the smoothest of the bunch from the controls to the player animations. It’s the closest to allowing free movement of players to change direction easily. On top of that there are two types of pass methods so you can make the passes you want.
Maybe the biggest extra the game has is the ability to switch players so you can always control the player closest to the ball, and switch when you want rather than when the computer decides. The game allows for very precise control of shooting, and allows for headers in the right circumstances which is rare in other games.
X2 Soccer 2010 is the best soccer game in the App Store by far, and may be the best sports game overall. It provides the most free flowing soccer motion to make slick passes, accurate shots, and play good defense which no other game offers.
Real Soccer 2010 ($0.99) by Gameloft The controls simply get in the way of enjoying this game. The biggest problem is you can’t switch what player you want to control so you can never pressure the ball or playing any kind of defense since the auto switching feature is terrible. On top of that you can’t move your player very well so it’s slow moving, and you can’t change direction very well.
Passing isn’t an exact science either as it usually never passes it in the direction you’re pointing it to do so. Aiming your goal is difficult as well, and with passing not working very well you don’t trust making a quick pass to knock it in on the opposite side of the goalie. The game is extremely slow moving over all, and gives the feeling of frustration over any other.
The game features a cup mode, league mode, and legend mode which is like a career mode. The modes give you plenty to compete in, though you’re likely be too irritated after a couple games to continue. There is online play which connects quickly, but still is the same basic game with control problems.
The game is on the iPhone and iPad, and the only one that is on the iPad in the comparison. The iPad version suffers from the same problems, and offers no differences other than visuals. Real Soccer 2010 is the worst of the four soccer games compared here. It’s not worth picking up the iPhone or iPad version.
Soccer Superstars™ ($4.99) by GAMEVIL Inc. is more of an arcade version of soccer as compared to the three realistic sims above. There are five game modes with one being exhibition, and another being dramatic which gives you a situation like penalty kick or one minute to score. Then there is cup mode for all cups around the world, season mode where you manage your team, and my league where you become a superstar.
The game is for action sports fans where you have special power up moves to score goals, and more scoring overall. Once you get the hang of it there is tons of fun for a long time with all of the different modes. The RPG elements in my league, and the management style of season mode give you incentives to keep going as you upgrade your players from game to game.
The controls take awhile to get used to. The biggest thing is that your player runs automatically, and you just need to swipe the control occasionally to change direction. If you hold you finger constantly on the control stick like other soccer games your player will try to dash so it doesn’t respond to the inputs for pass or shoot as often as you want.
In the game you let your players go slightly adjusting, and mostly tapping to pass until you get in range to shoot, and very rarely using the control stick. It definitely makes soccer easier, but it seems so easy that the game can play by itself which takes away quite a bit of fun. Soccer Superstars is fun once you get the hang of it, but is a little too hands off to be a real enjoyable experience.
If you want less realism in your soccer game this is the best choice, but there are more enjoyable soccer games overall in the App Store.
And The Winner Is…
X2 Soccer 2010 is far and away the best game of this bunch. All three of the others have their own frustrations related to the controls and consequent gameplay. X2 is the only one to allow for fast action around the goal, and swift movement through defenders. It’s also the only game that allows you to switch the player you control which makes a ton of difference on keeping the opponent from scoring.
X2 Soccer 2010 is $6.99, but if you want soccer this is really the only game that is enjoyable. All the rest no matter the price are more frustrating than enjoyable.