Developer: Mini Clip
Price: FREE
Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★☆☆
Playtime Rating: ★★★½☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

Despite the name, Soccer Stars owes a lot more to Billiards than it does to Soccer. Rather than conventional ball-kicking skills, the key to Soccer Stars is to be able to bounce the solid orbs that represent the players around the arena and hopefully towards the goal. It’s a different mechanic than most but it mostly works.

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Soccer Stars focuses very much on online competitive play, although an offline mode does exist. A mixture of one on one sessions and tournaments, the point of the game remains the same – score 2 goals before the other player. Each team is made up of five orbs that can be bounced around in numerous ways. One drags a finger behind the orb in order to push it towards the objective. They’re pretty sensitive so they can bounce off of other orbs, as well as the walls surrounding each pitch. Given the drag mechanics, when near the edge of the screen an extra finger is needed to cover for the missing space. That can make things awkward, but it mostly just about works.

At times it can feel pretty random, but with some practice techniques start to shine through. Not every move has to be related to pushing the ball nearer the goal. Instead, defensive steps such as placing an orb in the goal can make a difference in the quest for victory.

soccerstars1Limited time is offered to each player in order to take their turn so each match moves pretty swiftly. Coins are earned for victories and then used to sign up for more significant tournaments. It’s a simple concept so the fun is mostly garnered from simply playing the game. It’s possible to collect different teams but I didn’t find it a particularly enticing prospect.

Soccer Stars is still kind of fun, though. It could do with more of a structure to interest players, but it’s still a fun distraction and ties into the soccer fever going on at the moment. Some players will be warned off by the fact that it requires a Facebook account, but it’s pretty unobtrusive on that front. For a pick up and play kind of game, it scratches a shallow itch.


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