In the first edition of our game reviews, we start off with the Android OS and iOS game, Score! Hero. Developed by First Touch games who specialize in football games across multiple mobile OS platforms, they have also been the team behind games such as Dream League Soccer and Score! World Goals – the prequel to Score! Hero.
Score! Hero is an immersive game where important goalscoring moments from a fictional season are recreated match by match. The game hooks you in with its simple yet intuitive gameplay which revolves around finger swiping to guide the ball from player to player, till a goalscoring moment arrives.
The story begins with the user being invited to choose a mid-table (at best) club from some of the major football leagues. The player then has to play through levels involving a series of games where the difficulty increases with each game, season after season, to progress in his individual career.
Within the game, there are tasks which are critical events captured at different times of the game, that are in fact opportunities to score a goal in different ways.
A first-hand experience
The developer has allowed the user to exercise his freedom and creativity in order to manoeuvre the ball around the field, guiding other players into counter attacking positions, delivering delicate lobs (ala Pirlo) for a one-touch finish or a volley (like Zlatan Ibrahimovic).
At the same time, I personally loved an added feature presented by the developer, that is to drop subtle hints before you execute your move. This really helps the player develop a feel for what can and cannot be done on the pitch, whilst at the same time allowing him or her to use their imagination to the fullest in order to complete the objective i.e. score the perfect goal.
Let’s talk about gameplay now, and the highlights here are the simple controls which involve finger flicking the ball from feet to feet till a goal is scored. The key ingredient here is the force of the flick which allows for delicate passing, through balls and thunder blasts depending on the speed of the flick.
Make a simple pass or use your vision to send a through ball by choosing the player it is intended for and manipulate him to make a run at it by outrunning the defender. Score penalties using a soft panenka-ish finish or drill it into the top or bottom corner.
Why take on just one defender when you can make the entire team look like fools by chipping a lob that bypasses the vertical, horizontal or diagonal length of the field? Take an unstoppable, unwavering free kick over the wall or curl in a swinger leaving the goalkeeper absolutely flummoxed.
Awesome, right? But that’s not all. This game gets super fun when its amazing engine anticipates your intelligent moves and allows them to manifest in the game due to its well programmed AI.
For example, instead of creating a scoring chance that would be seemingly difficult by the means of a simple pass, you could bravely attempt a forceful swipe intended to allow the finisher to score with a header or a volley, and you’ll only fall deeper in love with the game once you see a Zidane-ish finish wherein a volley is scored after receiving the ball on the chest!
You can even nutmeg defenders when the opportunity presents itself and the best part is that the whole thing is unscripted but contextual.
This game takes up a mere 94 MB of space on Android-powered devices and 108 MB on the iOS. It even runs smooth as silk on mid-range phones. There is rarely any lag. We’ve tested this game on budget phones from companies such as Xiaomi, Micromax and LG and it runs absolutely fine on most devices.
Score! Hero averaged 4.6 on Google Play rated by an audience of more than 2.27 million, while it has recorded total downloads of more than 10 million. Although these figures cannot match the hugely popular EA Sports offering - FIFA Ultimate, it mirrors the quality of the latter as it is equally rated five stars by 78% of the reviewers on Google Play
However, a user could be disappointed when after failing to score the second or late goal in a match, he or she is made to restart the match all over again. Although this is avoidable by being able to recharge lives without the in-app purchases, simply by watching a video (data charges apply).
You will soon realise that the game’s short but addictive level designs allow you to play literally anywhere, even in the office! Thus the game’s greatest appeal would be that of a mid-morning/afternoon/evening stress-buster.
As you move closer to becoming a legend, the game offers a chance to emulate world football celebrities like Ronaldinho or Henry and replicate their transfers to leagues like the MLS before you retire. From my personal experience, I would like to add why I still haven’t deleted this game, despite the fact that I have finished the game.
I chose a French side whose name I barely even remember but as I progressed, my hero’s career took me to clubs like Marseille, Monaco, Paris Saint-Germain (which I captained) before I eventually got a transfer to Manchester United with Barcelona being the other choice.
Manchester United, voila! I feel as if I’ve only started playing the game, have you?