Super Arcade Football
Developer and Publisher: OutOfTheBit
During my teenage years and the early days of Android gaming, I spent a lot of time playing Soccer Superstars, an arcade soccer game with pixel style graphics and a lot of personality. Now a decade later, the game isn’t supported on any modern devices, and I’ve been left with a hole in my heart that can only be filled by another arcade soccer game with pixel art. Super Arcade Football caught my eye as a game that can maybe fill that void. While I wish there was just a bit more content, I am happy to say that I am at least somewhat satisfied by Super Arcade Football.
Super Arcade Football is a sports game with a top-down perspective. Goals are at the top and bottom, and players can freely control a team against the AI or other players. The controls are simple, with players really only being able to pass, shoot and make tackles. It’s no FIFA, but the simplicity of Super Arcade Football is what makes it so enjoyable. The gameplay feels balanced, especially when playing with a friend, and a few gameplay settings can be tweaked to make it more enjoyable based on the players’ tastes.
Matches are quick, with a default time of 3 minutes per half. Players don’t need to worry about dribbling controls, and only need to get the player to make contact with the ball to move it up and down the field. Stealing is easy too, with the opposing player needing to only make contact with the ball to take it. Players can also tackle at the risk of a penalty or even being carded. At the end of the short game, there can be an overtime if that was chosen in the settings, but usually a match will end with a winner or a tie.
While Super Arcade Football is aggressively simple, it does have a few surprising mechanics that add a little depth. This includes substitutions, injuries, and formations. The formations are easy to choose even for someone with little knowledge of soccer, especially because they all begin with the words “offensive” or “defensive.”
One area that this game falls short in is the variety in modes. Super Arcade Football only comes with three modes: Story, tournament, and the option to play a single match. The story mode is fine, with players tasked with rebuilding a dying club. There a small missions and objectives throughout the games to challenge players, but otherwise its a straightforward story mode.
The actual story in story mode is borderline awful. The dialogue is poorly written and full of fat-shaming. I simply can’t figure out how this script was approved and seen as a good idea. It’s an offensive script that almost sullies the entire game’s experience. Fortunately its easy to just ignore the actual and go straight to the soccer.
The lack of a real franchise mode is the game’s biggest disappointment, and the reason why Super Aracde Football won’t have the staying power of other sports games. Even other simple pixel sports titles like Super Blood Hockey comes with a franchise mode. Omitting this is a huge oversight, especially for players who like to manage teams. A hypothetical franchise mode wouldn’t even need much depth, and would have given this experience much more value. Fortunately, the tournament mode does include a league mode where players can go through one season in a league. It’s not fully satisfying, but its enough.
The presentation of Super Arcade Football is middling, but does come with charm. The main menu has an embarrassingly low resolution that makes it hard to look at. The actual game though looks fine, with simple little pixel players. They don’t have a lot of animations, but there are enough to keep the game looking smooth through a match. The sound effects are also nothing special, but there is just enough in Super Arcade Football to breathe life into the experience.
As a replacement for Soccer Superstars, Super Arcade Football falls way short. The lack of modes – especially a franchise mode, holds this title back from being great. Still, the head to head play can be a lot of fun with a buddy, and that might be enough reason to pick this title up if someone wants a simple soccer game.
Super Arcade Football
The lack of modes – especially a franchise mode, holds this title back from being great. Still, the head to head play can be a lot of fun with a buddy, and that might be enough reason to pick this title up if someone wants a simple soccer game.