Whilst we may be bombarded with coverage of the World Cup 24 hours a day for an entire month (not that that’s a bad thing), there will certainly come a point when you’ll have time to kill, be it at home or on your hellish, eleven and a half hour budget airline trip. What do you do with that downtime? Socialise? Work? That sounds terrible. The correct answer is ‘more football’. Here are our top five mobile football games to keep you in the mood.
1. FIFA 14 (Free – iOS, Android, Windows Phone): Far and away the best football game on consoles for the past five years, FIFA’s latest mobile offering may not quite match those lofty standards, but that’s hardly a criticism. FIFA 14 on mobile is a thoroughly comprehensive game, perhaps one of the most fully-fleshed ever seen on the platform. The inclusion of the thoroughly addictive Ultimate Team mode is a massive bonus, and the roster of teams remains as expansive as ever. Perhaps what’s most incredible is that this year’s full game is completely free. You’d be mad to not at least try it.
2. Football Manager Handheld 2014 ( £6.99 – iOS, Android): If FIFA has ruled the console circuit for the past five years, then Football Manager (and the Championship Manager series before it) has been a one-horse race for all of two decades. Of course it would be nearly impossible to translate the desktop experience to mobile immaculately, but 2014 is a massive improvement on its predecessor. It’s got more players, more leagues and a much improved match engine. The convenience of having the digital-heroine experience of FM on your handheld more than makes up for any discrepancies in transitioning it to the platform. It’s expensive, but worth every single penny. Say goodbye to your life.
3. New Star Soccer (Free – iOS, Android): Whilst FIFA and FMH may offer a thoroughly well-simulated approach to the beautiful game, New Star Soccer’s approach is altogether a lot more off-kilter. You create a professional and set off on your fledgling career. Between matches you have to balance relationships with your sponsors, teammates, manager and girlfriend, train to keep your skills honed, and buy cars and houses to improve your lifestyle (this is actually starting to sound a lot more realistic than first thought). In game, you control only your created professional. The match simulates until you get on the ball, then it’s up to you to play the perfect pass, shot, or make a last-ditch interception. It’s incredibly original, and extremely addictive.
4. Flick Kick Football (69p – iOS, 65p – Android): For something a bit less intense, Flick Kick Football is the perfect time-waster. The aim is for you to put your free kick into the goal, past increasingly difficult walls, distances, angles, and keepers. You determine power, trajectory an spin by how you ‘strike’ the ball with a swipe of your finger. Place the ball inches away from the woodwork and gain a life, fail to score and lose one – it’s a clever concept that will keep you coming back to break your high-score again and again.
5. Score! World Goals (Free – iOS, Android): If you want to get into the samba spirit, there’s only one app for you. Score allows you to recreate over 700 of the greatest and most memorable goals of all time, including a host of World Cup classics. It may not sound like the most challenging concept, but it’s surprisingly difficult hitting the ball and positioning your player just right to ensure that the final result is exactly like the real thing. Perhaps you’re a fan of Andres Iniesta’s strike in the dying moments to bring home Spain’s first ever World Cup? Or how about David Beckham’s electrifying free-kick against Greece to send England to the 2002 tournament? They’re all there, and they’re all as great as you remember them.