If you are looking at Super Party Sports: Football because you want an arcade style soccer game then you have definitely come to the wrong place. Despite the name and appearance, this game has almost nothing to do with football other than the fact that you kick a ball and are playing as part of a team. Other than that, it is completely removed from the sport from which it takes its name.
So what is it? Well that is slightly harder to answer. It is ostensibly a physics puzzle game but could probably be best described as a sort of cross between Worms and Angry Birds. The overall aim is a fairly simple one, you have to use the ball to kill the opposing team’s players and then get it into the goal at the far end of the stage.
Moving past that rather modest objective, the Super Party Sports: football offers plenty of challenge thanks to a trophy reward system and puzzles that become ever more difficult. The most obvious obstacle is the timer that slowly counts down towards zero. Taking out enemies increases it by a set amount of time but once it reaches the end, that particular turn is over and you will have to try again. Meanwhile, beating a level quickly rewards the player with more trophies and unlockable extras.
After being introduced to the basic concept and being taught how the physics work, the game then gets down to the serious business. Although the first few levels will likely be completed without any difficulty, they soon get tougher and require patience and planning to get right. New gameplay mechanics are slowly added, such as spikes and breakable platforms, which increase how hard a level is significantly. Some stages will baffle you for a long time until the solution finally becomes clear, though in most cases there isn’t really a correct way of beating the level, instead you can use whatever means you want.
As Super Party Sports: Football progresses, new items are introduced that are required to get past particular obstacles, such as steel balls. These add an extra level of strategy to proceedings and ensure that the puzzle element of the game never becomes too stale. With 100 levels in total, this was important to make sure the player never becomes bored of the action.
Considering the price and its origins as a title on app stores, the vast majority of people would not have been expecting stellar graphics or a wonderful soundtrack. The visuals do the job asked of them, providing a stage for the more interesting gameplay to shine. The sound design though is severely lacking, especially in terms of the music that will soon have you plugging in headphones and choosing your own accompaniment.
Unfortunately there is no real replayability here. The only incentive to go back to levels is to ensure that you have earned all three trophies, as the collectable coins only unlock fairly pointless kits for the different teams, items that are completely cosmetic. This can be a major problem if you play the game for any significant amount of time in a row, though this isn’t really what it was designed for. Being a mobile port, the developers most likely intended for players to have smaller intermittent sessions in between playthroughs of retail titles.
Another hangover of the fact that this game was originally a mobile release is the control scheme. While it works for the most part and is relatively easy to pick up and play, delicate shots can sometimes be a problem as it requires you to not only aim with the thumbstick but also choose how much power to put on a shot with it at the same time. Being able to manually adjust this with the d-pad or other buttons might have made some of the trickier levels less frustrating.
One final complaint is the lack of any real variety in terms of the power ups that can be bought using collected coins. There are only two on offer and a few extra options here might have added some more depth or variation to the experience. This isn’t a major gripe though, just something that could possibly have added.
Apart from these problems, Super Party Sports: Football is a thoroughly enjoyable title. It is fun, challenging and highly addictive. Like all the best games of the genre, it entices you in with the lure of just a few more levels and before you know it, hours have passed by. For just the price of $4.99, developer HandyGames has provided a game that will keep players occupied for a long time whilst also ensuring they have a good time.
A review copy of Super Party Sports: Football was provided to the author in the form of a digital code by developer HandyGames.