Assembling a football team packed full of world stars doesn’t guarantee you success.
Just ask Real Madrid, which has seriously underachieved in recent years given the amount of money it’s blown on 'Galacticos' like Ronaldo, Benzema, Ozil, Modric, and the rest.
Football Kicks: Title Race attempts to combine the essential essence of the holy trinity of iOS footy - Football Manager, Flick Kick Football, and New Star Soccer. Unfortunately, the result is a sloppy team with mercenary tendencies.
Here’s a game that sees you taking over your own fictional footy team, training up and trading its fictional players, improving your facilities, and playing a key role in the matches themselves.
At this latter point the action switches from a Football Manager-like series of menus to a New Star Soccer-like combination of text-based match report and direct action.
When your team plays itself into the position of being able to release a final ball or shot, the action zooms up behind the player, and you must swipe in the direction and at the pace necessary to set up or score a goal.
The trouble is, for all its attempts to be a comprehensive iOS footy title, not one of Football Kicks: Title Race’s elements is particularly accomplished.
Paid to warm the bench
Managing your team and resources feels extremely basic, and all hinges on an irritatingly intrusive IAP system that doles out the currency needed to institute meaningful changes at an excruciatingly slow rate.
You have to wait for the next match - unless you spend some money. You have to wait for your stadium expansion to finish - unless you spend some money. You have to wait for the automatic training to finish - unless, well, you get the picture. There’s a lot of waiting (or paying).
Oh, and you even have to pay to give your team a half time team talk (which temporarily boosts their abilities). Yes, really.
Meanwhile the footy action itself just lacks the precise pop of a Flick Kick Football or a New Star Soccer. It’s tough to get a feel for the appropriate strength and length of your swipes.
The whole game is pretty ugly, too. Nowhere is this more apparent than the quite frankly scary goal celebrations, which kind of resemble a cross between that unblinking, coked-up Maradona goal celebration in ’94 and a scene out of The Walking Dead. Yikes.
Football Kicks: Title Race tries to walk in the footsteps of some iOS footballing giants, but it's found lacking in technique and suffering from questionable motivation.