Ah, New Star Soccer, you glorious, hateful thing. You are the reason we cannot go to bed until three in the morning every single night without fail. You are the reason my dreams are filled with sharp whistles and cheap-looking interfaces.
If you haven't given this football sim a try yet, you really should (once it's back on the App Store if you're on iOS).
The game pits you as a fresh-faced footballer trying to "make it" in the big, bad world, with fans, team-mates, sponsors, your boss, and your girlfriend to juggle.
You may well be needing help, and Pocket Gamer is here to provide. We've plugged more hours into this game than we're willing to admit - just be rest assured that we know what we're talking about.
Here's everything you need to keep in mind when forging that New Star Soccer career.Fresh new start
Whenever you start in a new team via a transfer, it's always a bit of a slog to begin with. While the boss might like you, your team and your fans will be more wary of your performance.
The first match is incredibly important, so make sure you really put your all into that - buy an energy drink so you can go flat out for the whole match, and make sure every pass goes off without a hitch.
It's then a case of building up the team and fan support slowly but surely. The best way to do this is via the matching game - play the game for both the team and the fans once each in-between matches, and you should see each bar fill up in no time.
Make sure you don't let it slip from the moment of transfer - if your team and fans don't like you, you'll get less opportunities in the match, and therefore have less opportunities to make them like you. It's a very vicious cycle!Energy drinks
Energy drinks are seriously important, especially when it comes to the big knock-out matches.
It's always a good idea to have one energy drink stored up ready for half time. The best idea is to play the first half of the match, then assess whether you're going to need to play a three-heart game.
If it's obvious that this is the case, down that drink at half time.
Sometimes you'll just want to go flat-out for the entire match anyway, regardless of the score line - e.g. during cup matches. Note that you'll never need more than one energy drink stored up, so don't bother going overboard with the buying.Passing
There are different levels of skill to passing, and depending on how long the pass is, you'll get more match points.
Hit a pass under 15 metres, or pass back up the pitch towards your half, and you'll earn a "simple pass", which doesn't go down well with your boss.
However, hit it more than 15 metres, and it'll be a "good" pass. Over 20 metres is a "great" pass, and over 30 metres will be recognised with "a stunning 33m pass" or another phrase along those lines.
The length of your passes is crucial to getting the man of the match award, so always go for the longest pass you can, unless a team-mate closer by is in a good shooting position.Skills and boots
The skills system in New Star Soccer is a tricky beast. It's fairly easy to get each of your skills up to around halfway full, but after that, the minigames just become much too difficult to pull off.
Fortunately, there's a way around this - purchasing boots. Boots boost your skill stats up in such a way that you don't even need to train your skills up too high.
However, note that boots don't last forever and eventually wear out. Our advice is to save up for the more expensive boots that last longer and grab those.
Oh, and as for the free kicks skill stat - we wouldn't even bother training that. Taking free kicks is one of the toughest parts of the game, and if your free kicks stat is high, you'll be asked to take them all. Leave it to someone else on the team instead.Other tips and tricks
When it comes to interceptions on the pitch, look at the three players at the bottom of the screen and watch out for the one who has a speech bubble coming out of his mouth - he's the guy who will receive the pass.
Your girlfriend and your sponsors need some love and attention every now and again. Make sure you play the matching game with them every few matches.
Don't bother buying any energy drink other than the cheapest one - all the other advantages can be earned via other means, so it's a bit of a waste of money.
You'll only get asked to play for your home country once you've worked your way up to one of the top teams, so don't worry about getting picked until later in the game.
Want more? Check out our growing collection of New Star Soccer articles!