App Reviewed on: iPhone SE
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Remember when sports games didn't focus so much on realism and were just great pick-up-and-play multiplayer games? That seems to be what Raketspel was going for when they made Solid Soccer. Solid Soccer serves up some great arcade-style multiplayer all while having an interesting and fair free-to-play system that helps compel you to keep playing.
Solid Soccer is very much an arcade soccer game, meaning it's very much soccer, but relaxes when it comes to rules like offsides. The game played in portrait mode and can mostly be played with one thumb. You can control your players by tapping and pulling the direction you'd like your players to go in. If you have the ball, you're always going to be controlling the player in possession of it, and you can pass or shoot the ball by removing your finger from the screen.
On defense, the player you're in control of has a little circle around them. Releasing your finger while moving on defense makes your player slide tackle in the direction they were moving. If any any given time you want to switch to a different defense player, simply tap on them.
The beautiful game
Using these controls, it's pretty easy to knock out a few matches of Solid Soccer while you're waiting for the bus, as each game has an accelerated game clock that takes the traditional 90 minute time limit and makes it dramatically shorter. When you win a match, you'll then receive rewards that allow you to climb the leaderboards and upgrade your team.
It's all pretty basic stuff for a mobile multiplayer game, but Solid Soccer manages to stand out because of how pleasant and smooth an experience it is. It's visual design is generally minimalistic and seems to focus on providing smooth animations, which makes playing it feel pretty calming, even for a real-time multiplayer game.
Free-to-play football manager
Another great thing about Solid Soccer, weirdly enough, is its free-to-play system. Solid Soccer uses multiple currencies that can be earned in random quantities from winning matches or just purchased outright. These currencies are coins (which allow you to buy your way through just about anything) and training points (which you can spend on your players to boost their stats). The random rewards system (presented as cards) can also grant new players for your team, all of whom have higher stat potentials than the base players in addition to their own, unique looks.
While this does sound like a pay-to-win system, a lot of things in Solid Soccer even out with some (usually) solid matchmaking and the fact that players still have to rely on timing- and reaction-based skills to come out on top. The bigger problems with Solid Soccer are its propensity to drop matches and occasionally de-sync and lose data between devices. Both of these aren't huge issues in the grand scheme of things, but they are worth noting.
The bottom line
The way Solid Soccer makes multiplayer soccer feel like an easy, pick-up-and-play experience while remaining satisfying is commendable. It's not the deepest soccer game out there, but that's clearly not what it's going for. Instead, it offers up some good and light multiplayer soccer that is reminiscent of old-school soccer games.