Although there’s much more in Brazil that these (well, add caipirinha for the win), everybody will be paying attention to the national sport: soccer.
This week kicks off the World Cup, and it promises to be more exciting than ever, as long as you like soccer, because there isn’t any favorite beforehand and the golden cup can fall in either Brazilian, Argentinian, Spanish hands, let alone English, German or Belgian, or even Italian, you name it.
This year all the major players have reached the final stretch and audiences will be counted for thousands of millions worldwide (yes, you middle East American, soccer is more important than NBA abroad!)
Before the actual list, just one more little thing (an important announcement, indeed): as in many other major event or release, there are several (yes, several) developers who launch fake or malware apps onto the market, aware that many non-savvy people will go into the Internets looking for World Cup stuff. We talked with our friends at Avast! and they confirmed our suspicions. You can read a long and detailed post about how many and how malware apps look like here, or how some devs release poor ad-abusing games, disguised behind pompous titles and ripped-off screenshots.
Perhaps the last you’d expect to find in a soccer list, but truth is that a) Abalone is so awesome we’re always looking for a reason to add it to any list we do; and b) the last update includes a new game mode where there are goals and a football marble.
Why on Earth would Square to want to get its hands “dirty” with a soccer management game, it’s something unknown. And when we say soccer management, we really mean that, although the true reason for Champ Man to be in this list is that it’s a great game to get oneself initiated into the exciting soccer management genre.
In the last years, doodle design has consolidates an a feasible alternative to retro graphics for those devs who can’t, want not or don’t need to spend on ultra realistic 3D graphics to enforce the playability of their games. It might sound as a reductio ad absurdum and sometimes it makes some games hilarious when they’re indeed really serious, but keep on mind that it’s all about gameplay, as this Stickman Soccer.
Soccer games have spread to many other genres, including RPGs. This version replaces 2012′s version, but in the end you might well have one or the other as they’re nearly the same and the old one has a cooler design.
It must be said that soccer games for mobile have evolved a lot in the last few years and now is easy to find nearly handheld experiences everywhere. Striker Soccer 2 won’t get to the top of this list because reasons, but it’s one of the most fun games of this sport for mobile.
This is the perfect excuse for tactical players to forget about what will they say and play a soccer game, because it’s played on a board and won by the better strategists instead of by the ruder or nimblest.
Yep, Gameloft hasn’t released a 2014 World Cup version, but the 2013 one can still reach the top of any list about soccer games. It’s the most similar game you can have to a portable version of the big well-known franchises for consoles, but free (and along an annoying energy system)
Fluid Soccer focuses on set-pieces and strategic play, though some users will find this game rather close to some kind of physics puzzle games. Anyway, it’s a game that the true soccer lovers will enjoy more than any other “typical” soccer game.
We did our best to place some innovative and revolutionary game at the top of this list, but so far the nearest handheld experience is brought by the as loved as hated EA and its well-known FIFA franchise. Far away are the times when we argued between FIFA and PES, times which didn’t get to mobile as PES didn’t ever find its way to mobile.
The last update, as it couldn’t be otherwise, included ALL the World Cup ’14 stuff you may need.
We are usually reluctant to easy SEO-friendly titles, but truth is that Tiny Soccer was a great surprise. And, there aren’t many games able to recall the magic of Captain Tsubasa, we’d like to save this honorary prize for Tiny Soccer.
We started this list talking about samba and so, and we hope you have enjoyed any of the soccer games we recommend.
Regrettably, it seems that nobody cares about the other wonders than Brazil can offer to the world, especially game devs. What it could be a good chance to be bold and program a Zumba-like Samba game, hasn’t happened. Now that rhythm games are so in vogue, nobody thought about Samba, but also neither Maculelê, and it’s a pity, because video games (especially mobile video games which can reach faster a wider audience) would be an awesome tool to let people know about unique and interesting arts, and be fun at the same time. Likewise, Capoeira is only represented (often very poorly) in fighting games, when it could also belong to the rhythm games category.
Other stain in soccer games development is the lack of fem-soccer. Throughout this list, only one game includes female players (other includes marbles, though), which can only show a lack of Olympic spirit and a complete misunderstanding on both how soccer is and how video games can play a huge role to change the ruling status quo.
Lastly, an open letter to Square: is it really such hard to extract Final Fantasy’s X’s Blitzball and make a stand-alone game of it?