Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4S
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Freekick Battle, as a freemium game, is equal parts delightful and devious. It’s delightful due to the quality of the gameplay it presents upfront but it’s devious due to the kind of content that's being held back. Still, that’s the nature of the business model and it doesn’t stop Freekick Battle from being an enjoyable little soccer game.
As its title implies, Freekick Battle simply has players testing their free kick skills instead playing full matches of the beautiful game. They'll test said skills in the self-explanatory training mode, the arcade mode where players are presented with increasingly difficult obstacles like smarter goalies and other players, and match play where players presumably compete against others online. However, so far we have been unable to find any other players on the servers.
The strength, angle and height of each shot is controlled rather intuitively using the touch screen. Players will feel like they have true control over the ball, which is good considering that the entire game is basically this one mechanic. Later sections add twists like being able to pass to a teammate but Freekick Battle is counting on players not being bored by constantly kicking a ball into a net.
To help alleviate this potential boredom, the game has a robust shop where the freemium elements start to come into play. Pulling off trickier shots in the various single modes gives players experience and earns them coins. However, coins are earned at such a slow rate that in order to get that new hair style or those stat-boosting shoes players will need to be willing to shell out actual cash. It’s a cunning move as the game’s excellent, crisp, bright 3D graphics will encourage players to make their avatar look as good as possible. However, while buying new pants or glasses is one thing, players will also have to pay if they want to change their skin color which has some unfortunate implications. At least gender-swapping is free.
For a free game, Freekick Battle’s core gameplay is compelling enough that those who don’t choose to indulge in the shop shouldn’t feel too cheated. Conversely, while its extra content is weird and superfluous, it’s still a nice option to have. Freekick Battle is great for anyone looking for an on-the-go soccer fix.