Speedball 2 Evolution Review

By , on March 1, 2011

Speedball 2 Evolution
Download on the AppStore
4 out of 5


  • Pick-up and play style; tilt/joystick and 1-button control.
  • Unlockable modes and teams to test your skill.
  • Slick visual upgrade; detailed backgrounds and special effects.
  • Local multiplayer via Wifi/Bluetooth.


  • Control accuracy issues; direction of throws very sensitive to minor changes.
  • No multitasking; gameplay and upgrades potentially lost when taking a call, etc.


Revivals of great classic titles deserve nothing less than a polished update and Speedball 2 Evolution delivers almost perfectly - just remember to take some time out to get comfortable with controls first.

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The Speedball series by The Bitmap Brothers has in many ways come to define the future of brutal fantasy sports titles with its influence being evident in arcade titles like Midway's NBA Jam and NFL Blitz. Now modern iOS gamers and old-school fans alike can dive straight back in to the Speedball series with Speedball 2 Evolution by Tower Studios and despite some wonky control issues it feels as manic and exciting as it did all those years ago.

Players can choose between tilt or touch-based controls, with the tilt controls proving to be a bit easier to manage compared to the fairly sensitive virtual-stick system, though neither feel entirely accurate and choosing the direction of your subsequent throw/pass/tackle doesn't always result in what you asked for. Tackling, passing and catching are all performed by simply tapping or holding on the screen, making the basic gameplay easy to learn, though mastering advanced strategies like increasing your score multiplier and passing through a warp-field can be more difficult and are critical for winning the various leagues and tournaments you'll participate in. Individual team members can also be trained or traded on a player market to increase the overall skill-level of your team, with stat-bonuses providing obvious benefits such as increased defense and offense as well as improving their AI to make it easier to score those critical goals.

It's no surprise that the visuals have also been given an overhaul, but the original title wasn't exactly a slouch and most of the updates have simply sharpened and added more detailed definition to the backgrounds and special team uniforms. Additional special effects also give the game a polished modern touch.

Multiplayer is available for local networks (Wifi and Bluetooth), but even if you don't have a friend to play with there's more than enough unlockable teams and modes to keep you busy through each season and competition.

Despite having 20 years under its belt, Speedball 2 Evolution still feels as fun as it ever did, especially when played competitively with friends. If you love fantasy sport titles or you have fond memories of the original Speedball titles, this is definitely worth picking up.


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