Super Party Sports: Football (Xbox One) Review

By Nikola Suprak 23.02.2017

Review for Super Party Sports: Football on Xbox One

Despite the long, historic friendship between the UK and the US, there are some things that simply cannot be agree on. Should things be measured using the logical metric system, or is it better to decide how many units go into another by pulling a number out of a hat? Should the letter "u" be thrown around sparingly, or does it beloung in eveury wourd? Most importantly, is the sport where you kick a ball around called football or "wait, what are all those people playing?" Regardless of what it is called, the sport featured in Super Party Sports: Football isn't really that. Sure, there is a ball and a net, but this isn't really football.

Some people find football a bit dull, but Super Party Sports: Football refutes this claim by adding some good old fashioned murder and dismemberment to the basic formula. Each level features some unique terrain and challenges, and whoever did the landscaping on the stadium is likely going to lose their job because it seems unlikely these huge dirt towers jutting out of the ground are regulation size. Like football, the ball can be passed back and forth between teammates and the ultimate objective here is to land the ball in the opponent's net. Unlike football, however, your opponents are all apparently put together with old chewing gum and particularly fragile pieces of twine, because they burst apart if the ball so much as touches them. It seems like a pretty serious condition to suffer from when deciding to become a professional athlete, but each and every one of the members on the other team is suffering from a terminal case of it. Once the defenders have all been vanquished, you can score a goal on the now defenceless goalie, who is apparently so demoralized they can no longer touch the ball. The goal in each level is to finish as quickly as possible, with extra medal awarded if the target times are met or exceeded.

The gameplay is certainly very basic, but there is something enjoyable about flicking a ball towards an opponent and watching them fall apart in a shower of cartoon violence (there is no blood or anything like that, so it isn't particularly grotesque). Both the direction and strength of the shot can be altered, creating a game that is perhaps more like pool than actual football. Once you get a good grasp on how to bank the ball off a wall to get a good angle on the shot or when to softly lob the ball instead of giving it a good firm kick, it is very easy to get in a rhythm and plough through ten levels or so at a time without even really noticing. This sort of feels like the M&M's of the video game world. It isn't going to be anyone's favourite food and is pretty insubstantial, but at the same time if there is a bowl at the party it is hard to refuse taking a handful.

Screenshot for Super Party Sports: Football on Xbox One

There are a couple of things the game does somewhat well. Banking the ball over and around walls and finding the perfect angles to get the best time is a solid mechanic to build the game around and leads to instant playability. Things are also kept interesting by introducing some new tricks in each pack of levels. The levels are organized into ten groups of ten, and each group usually introduces some new mechanic to keep things interesting. While the initial levels just focus on exploding as many hapless footballers as you can, later levels throw in referees that can throw players out of the game if they see a player get blown apart, bullies that will beat up whoever has the ball, and mascots that will cause the player to lose time if they get hit with the ball. Spinning platforms add in another level of complexity, requiring the player to time their shots, or perhaps arrange it in such a way to allow for a perfect reflection to somewhere further downfield. Again, this is a very simple concept but they do a lot to add in complexity when and where they can.

The added elements are nice, adding in new layers of challenge to the levels as things unfold. At the same time, though, it never feels like much of a shift and there is no real difficulty curve here even with new elements being added. Each pack of ten usually starts easy before gently ramping up, only to fall back down to very simple levels again to introduce players to the new concepts. It isn't a bad idea, but a huge chunk of the levels here are painfully basic and don't have any real challenge.

Screenshot for Super Party Sports: Football on Xbox One

The biggest issue here is that even with the occasional trick the game throws out, there really isn't much substance here. It is a very simple sort of game, and it was almost certainly designed specifically for mobile gaming, with the Xbox One port being released as a likely afterthought. Almost everything about the design scream mobile game. It is a simple, short, uninspired title that doesn't have much in terms of creativity or staying power. It is an amusing enough way to kill a car ride here and there, but when someone is actually sitting down to play something on the home consoles, this title simply doesn't match up.

It even looks like what were once microtransactions were left in the game, and in order to use more powerful balls that either add extra time for each opponent defeated or make the players immune to being kicked out of the game, a certain amount of coins that can be collected in game need to be spent each and every time they are used. Mess up at the start of a match and need to restart? Too bad, hope you have more coins if you want to use the special ball again. The simplicity works in the games favour at times, making it quite simple to jump into, but overall it just leaves the game feeling very basic and fairly dull.

Screenshot for Super Party Sports: Football on Xbox One

On top of that, a lot of the level designs here are fairly shaky as well. A lot of the levels feature some sort of complex path where each one of the players can touch the ball and pass it on to the next guy. And, in a lot of these levels, these segments can be skipped entirely as the ball can be launched up and over everyone, bouncing around until it likely lands in the lap of some random player. It was hard to not picture a level designer crying somewhere, and it almost feels like you're playing the game incorrectly at times, skipping over all the important bits. The very last level was cleared on the very first attempt, not even trying that hard to get it to where it needed to go.

There are some fairly clever levels here and there, but too many can be cleared almost at random by just kicking the ball around and seeing what happens. The twists the game throws in do not do nearly enough to alter the gameplay, and as a result, the first level feels largely similar to the last. A bit more work needed to be done on the level design here, because while the core mechanics are fine, they don't really do enough in the levels to require the player to use them in some interesting way.

Screenshot for Super Party Sports: Football on Xbox One

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

Super Party Sports: Football is one of those decent time waster games people download on their phone to kill some time while waiting for the bus. It is also available on iOS, and, honestly, that feels like the perfect platform for it. On the Xbox One, this just feels slightly out of place, like it wandered in through the wrong door and everyone was just too polite to point it back in the right direction for fear of offending it. It is a perfectly alright game—a sort of basic puzzler that really doesn't have too many tricks up its sleeves—but it feels too basic to be on a console, and is too simple for anyone to sit down with it for any real length of time. It isn't a terrible game, but it certainly isn't a good one, either.

Developer

HandyGames

Publisher

HandyGames

Genre

Puzzle

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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