App Reviewed on: iPad Air 2
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I was sold on the idea of turn-based soccer when I first played Uppercup Football two years ago, so I was excited at the prospect of getting a new take on that formula with Dumber League. Unfortunately though, this take on turn-based soccer is a little too dumb for its own good.
Soccer is dumb
Dumber League doesn't seem to be any clever reference to soccer. Rather, this game is about a bunch of dumb people playing soccer, or at least that seems to be the core design philosophy behind the game.
This means that when playing Dumber League, you can expect to see players run into each other, running blindly in pursuit of the ball in hopes of scoring. While this does set up a lot of potential for bizarre and funny things to happen on the soccer field, it also allows for a lot of dumb things.
Dumber League is a turn-based game, meaning once a player gets control of the ball, all of the idiocy on the field freezes until the player kicks the ball to resume the action. If it's your team who has control of the ball, you can pull and release to determine the direction and power of your kick. If the other team has possession, you just have to wait until one of your dummies gets the ball back.
Waiting to get the ball back can take a really long time, so Dumber League actually allows you to put the action in fast forward when there's nothing to do by simply tapping the screen. This would be a convenient feature if the idea of waiting to get the ball weren't an already infuriating proposition.
Work harder, not smarter
Not everything in Dumber League is as random as its base gameplay sounds. Staring out in the game, you choose a team that has its own set of stats that determine kicking strength, player speed, and overall stamina. In between matches, you can also spend coins that you've earned on training these stats to tweak your team's abilities and even switch the formation of your players prior to your next game.
The only problem with all of this is that it doesn't seem like any amount of strategy or preparation can really overcome the dumb AI in Dumber League. Players still fall all over each other and wind up in really random spots on the field, making it nearly impossible to be reliably good at the game.
The bottom line
Dumber League is a great idea and premise that just feels too random to be satisfying. If some of the random elements and dumbness in the game were toned down, I could see Dumber League being a nice challenge, but–as it currently stands–winning and losing in it feels like dumb luck.