Developer: ODT S.A
Price: $1.99
Version Reviewed: 1.2
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★☆☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★½☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

Vaguely reminiscent of the soccer games I played during my youth, Pixel Cup Soccer is a very simple title. Much of its charm stems from its pixel art graphics, adding a cute look to what could have been an otherwise indistinctive game. It’s fun for a time, sure, but it is a tad too basic for comfort.

pixelcup8Tying into the World Cup theme that makes perfect sense right now, players get a choice of 32 national teams. That choice makes a difference too, with the likes of Brazil and Argentina being noticeably better than South Korea and my beloved England. Each team is given star ratings for their attacking, midfield play, defensive skills, and the strength of their goalkeeper. That’s as complicated as Pixel Cup Soccer gets, but it’s a start.

Gameplay is controlled by a virtual joystick and two buttons – one for shooting and one for passing. At first, it seems like they both do very similar things but there are some subtle differences to how they respond. Similarly, when on the defensive one button initiates a sliding tackle while the other is a weaker attack.

pixelcup4For the most part, such nuances don’t matter as much as one would hope for. Passing is a bit sluggish, meaning it’s often more effective to pass the ball to one player then run with it, straight to goal before trying to chip it in. That makes Pixel Cup Soccer a fairly fast-paced game that almost reminds me of the arcade nature of the likes of NBA Jam. There’s certainly enough running back and forth to be reminiscent, but it’s not as much fun. It tries to tidy things up with inclusions such as being able to share replays with friends, but it’s not enough.

While it might be a briefly fun game, Pixel Cup Soccer doesn’t have the depth to sustain any extended sessions. It’s a passing distraction more than anything else.

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