Football is the world’s most popular sport, enjoyed by billions the world over.
It is a universal language spoken in every country. Anywhere in the world, if you have a football under your arm, you can have a game with someone and communicate. From dusty pitches to the screens of video games, everyone understands football. Indeed, football video games have become huge business around the world. EA Sport’s title FIFA is almost as well known as the game itself, whilst eFootball and UFL will eventually rival that. The latter is a new title, reported by IGN as being in the late stages of development. Of course, it isn’t turn-based.
In fact, very few football games are turn-based. There are thousands of titles you can play featuring football, even on mobile. Some, like Dream League Soccer, look much like the console games we know and love. Others trade on the imagery but not the game, such as the online slots at Coral, including Football Rules and Football Star. Others on mobile can be described as turn-based, but not in the normal sense; there are elements of that in Football Manager, a popular yearly release. However, there is an offering for genuine turn-based lovers, namely Football, Tactics and Glory
At first, turn-based gaming and football don’t feel like accepted bedfellows. We’ve seen successful turn-based titles from the world of RPG such as Pathfinder and Mercenaries Blaze, but rarely football. The action in football tends to be quick, spontaneous, and unsuited to turn-based strategy. However, Football, Tactics, and Glory look to dispel that notion.
It is a management sim, and a turn-based action game rolled into one. The pitch is divided into a grid, and each team has three moves to score a goal. If they fail to do so, play switches to the other team, wherever the ball ends up. Each player has the usual range of skills; run, shoot, pass and protect the ball, whilst the best players have special skill moves. All have stats, so top strikers might have 80 shooting stats, and they’re more likely to score when faced with a 20-rated keeper. However, they do sometimes miss, they are only footballers after all, and we all know they fluff their lines every so often.
There is a management simulator outside of the game, too, not quite as deep as Football Manager, but still offering you tough choices. You can play the transfer market, develop players, and plan for the future, all with the unknown element of injury and fatigue. The transfer market can be tough; if you’ve got limited funds, it can become tough to improve, especially after a promotion.
You can vary the difficulty level, which helps, and the quirky nature of the game does mask some of the annoying features, like the leveling up. It can, at times, feel like a bit of a grind, but the action is suitably different enough to keep you coming back.
Turn-based games are incredibly appealing to those who enjoy strategy, and if you are also a football fan, this is the crossover title for you. You won’t find the genre going mainstream, but developers Creoteam have found a niche in the market and slotted their title in amongst the others nicely.