Version Reviewed: 1.02
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2
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Soctics is what happens when soccer meets Disc Drivin’. This means turn-based action with online play all wrapped around the rules of soccer. The objective is to be the first to score 3 goals. Each player has a team of 3 or 4 discs of different sizes that can be slid around the board, launched at the ball (or each other) in order to try and get the ball into the opponent’s goal.
Luck plays somewhat of a factor in Soctics because with so many bouncy objects around, it often happens where a team will score due to a disc inadvertently knocking the ball in to the goal, sometimes on an own goal. However, this is where skill and smart play come in. The smarter player will win more often than not because they’ll usually be in better positions to manipulate the ball. In fact, clever play is important as well, because sometimes doing nothing in a turn is a great way to leave an opponent in a vulnerable position when they anticipated something different.
Soctics’ tutorial doesn’t explain much about two key elements: the ability to use differently-sized discs, and the ability to deaden a piece. By tapping on a disc when positioning them at the start of a game or after a goal has scored, it can become a smaller but faster disc, or a big but slow disc, each with different strategic applications. As well, 2 discs per turn (and not in consecutive turns) can be deadened, so that if they get hit, they stay in place, and any discs or balls that hit them will bounce right off. It can prove to be an interesting strategy, and one that can help if used wisely.
The first time I got online I was destroyed, but after playing some matches and figuring out the useful strategies, I became a lot better, and felt a lot more confident. The game is currently live online multiplayer only, but it’s not difficult to find a match, and it’s even possible to spectate other matches that are going on. An asynchronous online mode would be an interesting addition, and one that would be perfect for this type of gameplay.
Soctics isn’t perfect, and is best for players who can accept that entropy is a large part of the proceedings, but its online gameplay is a ton of fun. There is a free version (available for both iPhone and iPad, though the game may go universal soon according to one of the developers) that only has single-device play, and it is a great way to test the waters out with Soctics.