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Undead Soccer Review

By Dave Flodine, on February 4, 2013


Undead Soccer
Download on the AppStore
Rating

PROS

  • Lots of power-up options.
  • The flick to kick mechanic works quite well.

CONS

  • Egregious upgrades (for instance reducing the delay on your ball kick).
  • Tedious grinding.

VERDICT

Undead Soccer is a free to play game that has a half decent gameplay base, but is designed around wasting your time.


  • Full Review
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Late last year, The Bowling Dead was released, a novel take on the over-saturated zombie genre that had you flinging bowling balls at zombies. To be honest, we didn't foresee that other sports might also lend themselves to killing the undead, so the release of Undead Soccer kind of caught us by surprise. You flick soccer balls at zombies before they can reach you and munch your face off. A simple, and somewhat engaging premise, but like so many games on the iOS platform these days, a huge misstep is taken designing such a simple mechanic around the in-app purchase model.

Flicking your finger will send the soccer ball hurtling in the direction of your aim, dispatching any zombies with a somewhat satisfying “thwack”. The way forward isn't the only field of vision you have though, and you will need to tilt your iPhone left and right to screen the canvas of whatever interesting locale you find yourself in during each successive level. The flicking itself feels pretty good, although it's interesting that sometimes it feels like the ball has an auto aim, sending it towards zombies in the distance, while at other times it feels like the game decided to send you out of bounds. It lacks a certain amount of consistency, but not to its detriment.

This is a one life game, and each play-through will have you starting over at level one, with each new stage introducing a new zombie (including stages with bosses). Each zombie is easily overcome with some simple strategy and aiming (when it works), but at times your character feels sluggish, and as you start to delve into the upgrade menus of the In-App Purchases bought by coins collected in-game or bought with your real cash, you realize that this hampering of your character, and thus making the game feel unappealing to play was a calculated decision so you have one more thing you have to upgrade. Yes, alongside things like the power of your ball is an upgrade to allow your character to respond faster. It's needed too as the onslaught of zombies is often too much to handle with the slow ball reloading animations.

And while each stage is a new locale, the art style and overall sound design is pretty standard, with nothing really standing out as aiding the game experience. It has a sketchy dark comic book tone to its designs that help sell a horror atmosphere, but in a game about kicking zombies with soccer balls and battling giant squids, it does seem a mismatch. Undead Soccer could have been a fun little arcade experience. The flicking motion reminds us of the silly time wasting fun of games like Paper Toss, and with the premise, it could have really sold itself as an amusing time waster. Instead, the game is designed around an in-app purchase system that hamstrings the actual game experience, and makes this hard to recommend.

Screenshots

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