EA's full featured 2010 FIFA World Cup soccer game for the iPhone and iPod touch is out, just in time for globe's largest quadrennial sporting event.
FIFA World Cup Soccer for the iPhone and iPod touch is definitely NOT a casual game. It is one of the most complex games I've ever played on a mobile device.
In addition to a richly featured 11 on 11 gameplay, the 2010 FIFA World Cup game features over 100 International teams, complete with rosters of the real athletes and stars. But - you can insert fake athletes, like yourself, into any team.
This mode of the game is called "captain your country". In this mode, you play in the World Cup tournament and the focus is on you as much as it is on your team. The game will give your player experience based on positive and negative individual performances and even generates press about you and your team in between games.
I actually don't like this game mode as much because you only control yourself on the field of play while influencing teammates actions using shoot and pass button commands. Instead, I prefer FIFA World Cup mode. This mode still allows you to take your team of choice through World Cup qualifications or the World Cup Finals tournament, but with traditional gameplay in mind.
Gameplay in 2010 FIFA World Cup is very involved with a lot of control features. You maneuver your player using what i would call a touchpad analog stick. Any player with the ball you control by default, but you can touch on any player on your team in order to control them.
With the ball, your primary options are to pass and shoot. Depending on how you tap, double tap, or hold the pass and shoot buttons you'll be able to control a more powerful shot, a longer pass, a quick 1-2 pass, and so on. The more you play the game, the more quickly these become instinct. There is also the skill button, which puts on a fancy move to evade your opponent.
On defense you can tackle and slide tackle. Slide tackling is more effective, especially when further away, but you run a higher risk of getting called for a foul.
There are additional controls for free kicks and penalty kicks for both the goal keeper and the shooter.
In the game settings, you'll be able to choose the length of the games as well as the CPU skill of your opponent. The artificial intelligence in the game is pretty damn impressive considering you're playing on a tiny little iPhone. Even better than playing against the CPU though is head-to-head play against another person so long as they have the game installed and are within bluetooth proximity or on the same local area network.
Review by: David Prager