New Star Soccer Impressions

Posted May 18th, 2012 at 10:00 pm

New Star Soccer recently made its way onto iOS and Android and has quickly become a standout mobile game. A career mode that features turn-based action and a number of outside elements to manage is joined by a simple mini-game in the mold of the “Flick” offerings on the market. Both have proven to be addictive and well designed. 

The NSS series has been on the PC for years but finally made the transition to mobile where it is an ideal fit. The arcade mode works really well as a score-driven challenge in which shots on goal get increasingly difficult (more defenders, shots being taken from farther out, wind, moving target to kick). It’s a simple game but one that presents a real challenge.

The meat of NSS is in the career mode. It begins with creating a player and deciding on which league to join. Staying in the US placed me in the MLS – beginning with Portland – and it was notable that all the real team names and colors were represented.

Throughout the career situations arise where players can transfer – and I did so after negotiating a contract with Toronto that upped my base pay as well as goal bonus. After the first year I then transferred to an Italian league where I was making even more. Money plays a role in buying items to increase status as well as buying the opportunity to increase player skills. It also comes in handy when managing energy levels – go into a match with low energy and the coach will be forced to sit you. Even more fun is the ability to gamble the money made by playing blackjack, roulette, or slots.

There is a lot to the career mode in New Star Soccer but it avoids being overwhelming. Managing various elements of a player’s career is laid out in a straight forward manner and with a variety of ways to build that character throughout their career. Put the focus on the off-field activities and that will come at the expense of skill level. Work on their skill levels and end up getting derided for being a poor dresser in the press. Finding the balance that one wants is fairly interesting in this game.

The actual gameplay is also handled well. Players will see a ticker of events taking place and then take over when the character has a play on the ball – whether that be the opportunity to shoot on goal, pass to a teammate, or intercept a pass from the other team. The turn-based action keeps the user invested while still playing out entire games in only about two minutes.

New Star Soccer is highly recommended at just a few bucks. The game has an addictive nature that hasn’t really been evident with many sports offerings on mobile devices. It takes advantage of the platform in creative ways while functioning in a reliable fashion.

New Star Soccer is available now for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad for free (however it’s pay to continue after a certain point in career) and Android for $3.