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Soccer on a touchscreen is nice enough as it is, but the functionality opens up a new way to imagine the game. Enter Goooooal Europa 2012, which will henceforth be named Goal, as that is much less annoying. This title goes back to the olden days of tabletop football. The tabletop term is not to be confused with foosball and those spinning bar things. This version is on a board where players need to aim with their team members fastened to a spring, in order to bounce the ball around.
So, as expected, the touchscreen is presented as a pitch where the team members are in a fixed position with a spherical crevice around them to “catch” the ball. It’s possible to pick a given country for these little pins, but it’s of little importance other than preferred color schemes. Game modes are divided between either quick play or tournaments, as well as a separate campaign mode with a set of differing objectives.
The campaign goes over all the finesse needed for the mechanics, such as being able to score from all places using the spherical pull or juggling a bomb ball. That’s right; Goal has 2 balls: One is regular and the other one is a bomb that goes off every so often. If a player then currently has the ball, they explode, leaving nothing behind. This opens up some more tactical gameplay, as it’s both important to guide the ball expertly and make sure the home team doesn’t get blown to pieces.
In order to propel the ball, the fixed teammate must be held back and let go, so they can spring forward and lunge the ball in that direction. According to what strength and angle is given it propels the ball in a certain direction. Especially in missions where players are prohibited from blowing up, this opens up new ways to think about passing the ball around. More so, in general it will require quite some practice to decipher the game’s inner physics. So, Goal is actually not that much different from other football titles. Except this game is static; also, people blow up in this one.
The game also keeps a tally of progressing skill, so every time a mission is conquered, it will pass for a given achievement or unlock new objectives. In doing so, Goal lends itself a bit more replay value, as players stuck on an objective can win some points in other ways as well. Other than that, having a quick match or tournament with a regular or bomb ball is just up to a given taste. It is more exciting with a bomb though; the added risk and reward makes it much more than just a game of footie.
However, whether or not this retains a certain entertainment value is also up to general taste. The basics of the game remain the same from the start: Tilt a person, let go, aim with expertise, score goals. Once all the objectives have been cleared, a pick up and play element is about all that’s left for Goal. Luckily, given the gauntlet presented in the campaign, finishing it might take a while. In fact, some missions seem like they’re just overly difficult in order to force players to keep trying. It does that job adequately, as even after numerous failures, devising a tactic and getting through that insurmountable challenge will feel like it’s just one step away.
Goooooal Europa 2012 has a ridiculous name, but as a small title it delivers enough to be entertaining for a while. It’s not football like usually seen in other games, but it doesn’t need to be. Its singular approach towards the known sport is properly executed enough to stand on its own merit. It isn’t much, but it’s enough.
|Bouncing a ball around with spring-operated men might not be for everyone, but the small game holds itself up well enough to present itself as a justifiable pastime. Simplicity and ingenuity blend well in this otherwise average mini-game.|