I don’t often feel compelled to write game reviews, which you’ve probably noticed seeing as I’ve not done one all year.
But when I do it’s because a game is either very special or isn’t well known and deserves some credit.
In recent weeks I’ve bought and played some big name games which have reviewed very well, such as the recently released Overwatch (which I think is decent but not deserving of the level of praise it’s been getting), Dirt Rally (which is a bit too repetitive and ‘realistic’ to offer the pick-up-and-play fun I wanted) and Far Cry Primal (which I sunk around 20 hours into but was lacking in comparison to its predecessors),
but none of them have stood out.
Instead it’s a game that cost me a mere £2 on steam that I want to write about…
A game called Kopanito All-Stars Soccer.
Now I’m a big football fan as you probably know if you pay attention to this blog or follow me on twitter (@sgmilne) and as a gamer that means I dedicate a lot of time to both FIFA and Football Manager. But I accept that my enjoyment of these games comes from knowing a lot about the sport. If I didn’t like football then FM would just be a load of words and numbers, while FIFA would probably end up being too complex to grasp. I feel like that about games such as EA’s Madden, NBA and NHL efforts.
For me, the best sports video games are often the simple, arcadey ones. The likes of Mario Tennis, Golf, Baseball or Strikers, or the NFL Blitz series.
And this is where Kopanito All-Stars Soccer is great.
It’s cartoonish graphical style and simple 2 button approach to the sport makes for a quick pick up and play experience for the PC. And unlike the more serious sports games, there are also power ups such as missile shot and magnet ball that add that extra sense of barmy fun.
But it’s also surprisingly difficult, and I mean that in a good way.
Once I’d won a tournament on beginner mode I tried the next level up and I kept getting pumped. So I adjusted my style of play to stop chasing the opponent every time it had the ball and ended up getting some success. And do you know what? It felt very rewarding.
The strength in Kopatino is that you don’t really need to appreciate football to appreciate or understand the game, while at the same time, it’s challenging enough to make you want to play it over and over again.
Steam says I’ve played it now for over four hours since I first had a shot yesterday, and that’s far more enduring than my desire to go back to Overwatch or Dirt.
And the beauty of it is that it cost me far less money.
I’d urge you to give it a try yourself; it’s great.