Version Reviewed: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4S
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Re-use / Replay Value Rating:
Uppercup Football is an arcade-style soccer game that's played with just one button. It isn't a game meant to simulate playing a regulation FIFA match with 100% accuracy. Instead, the game opts to present itself as a sort of wacky puzzle game with a great old-school pixel art aesthetic, which makes for a pretty darn charming and fun experience.
Playing Uppercup Football is a lot like playing something from the popular Worms series, but instead of trying to kill one another players seek to pass and shoot a soccer ball. As mentioned, the game has one button, and touching that button and releasing it at the right time determines the power and direction of each kick. The only time this changes is if a player loses possession of the ball, and this turns kicking into slide tackling/defense using almost exactly the same mechanic.
This may sound like a pretty standard and boring way to dumb-down a regular soccer title, but Uppercup Football is far from a normal soccer game. Players end up facing off against goofy opponents on fields that are sometimes made of other materials, using different kinds of balls (rugby, bowling, ELECTRIC, etc.), and navigating around different obstacles like land mines and pinball bumpers. The core of the game is to take all of these variables and use them to generate a certain amount of goals before time runs out. The result of this gameplay formula is a pretty fantastic and frenetic puzzle game that captures some of the pressure found in sporting competitions.
Uppercup Football wouldn't feel quite so charming and weird if it weren't for the opponent designs and field variables at play. Combining land mines with an electric ball when facing off against unicorn-headed opponents really amps up the fun. The retro art style also adds to the charm as the players are appropriately as cartoony and goofy as the action.
Part of me kind of wishes there were more complexity to Uppercup Football's control scheme, or some kind of upgrade system to keep a sense of persistence in the game, but alas, there isn't. At the same time though, the game's streamlined nature makes it very easy to pick up and play instantly, so it's kind of hard to knock it too much.
After finishing the first 20 matches available in the free version, players can opt to replay them at a higher difficulty or pay to further progress, and both add a great amount of replayability to the game. As a free title it is definitely worth checking out, and the purchased add-on adds more variables to the mix.
Overall, Uppercup Football is pretty awesome. It is not the kind of soccer game that players typically think of, but it is very much a better game for it.