Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 3GS
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Foosbal, or "table-football" as us Brits often refer to it as, seemed like a pretty unusual one for a developer to bring across to iOS. It's a game that relies heavily on not only a very tactile style of playing, but also on the close-quarters of an opponent for banter and a lot of the enjoyment. I was unsure that it could really work on an iPhone, against an AI opponent.
First impressions weren't great, at the menu screen I was greeted with an extremely loud and rather annoying bleep each time I pressed something -- as if I really needed some sort of confirmation that I had in fact touched the screen. However, my initial opinion improved upon turning the volume down and looking through the menus. Not only do we have the standard 'first-to-five' game of foosball with single games, tournaments and local multiplayer, but also a collection of mini-games. One of which is entitled "Hardest Kick." I was immediately taken back to my childhood days of aggressively spinning handles in the hope that I'd catch the sweet-spot and send the ball careering across the table.
One of the best things about this game, though, is the variety of control options. Players can kick automatically or by manual screen touches, there's even a motion control option -- and they all work great, it's really a matter of personal preference as to which one is used. Unlike a lot of games on iOS, where despite the options, there's only ever one that feels right. As far as general gameplay goes, though, it's pretty much as close to table-football as it could be. Just a lot less expensive, and a whole lot more portable. The only thing that seemed to be missing was those awkward moments where the ball gets stuck in a place where it can't be reached, along with the resultant table-nudging. Which, I guess, from a development point of view is a good thing to alleviate. The AI opponents are actually not bad to play against either, although an online multiplayer mode would've made a very nice addition. One that would've served a much greater purpose than the 'create a team' portion; I've always found 'Red' and 'Blue' to be sufficient on Foosball tables.
I was genuinely surprised, however, at how much fun I had with Stinger Foosball League. Perhaps it was my pre-game skepticism, but being able to play foosball with technological advancements such as instant-replays when scoring goals is actually rather enjoyable. Then there's the close up shots of goal-scoring players jiggling about on their poles, which had me giggling a little each and every time.