It's no surprise Euro 2012 fever has resulted in a slew of footy games arriving on the App Store. More surprising is that the unremarkably-named Euro Soccer is actually really rather good.
It's a straight-up FIFA clone with seriously impressive production values for a mobile game, and it manages to capture the festival atmosphere of the tournament admirably.
Given the title, it shouldn't be a huge shock that only European teams are featured, and the bulk of the game is built around the tournament itself. There's no lengthy qualification process - just a quick friendly before the group stages begin, and then it's onto the pitch.
Traditionally, aping console footy games on a phone is about as worthwhile as playing Heskey up front for England, but First Touch Games has done great work simplifying the controls and making the action flow.
After all, this is the team behind the marvellous Score! Classic Goals and First Touch Soccer, and its engine is put to great work here. You move around with an on-screen stick (which teleports to your thumb position) and pass, shoot, and lob with three chunky buttons on the right of the panel.Finish it!
Passing is smooth and easy, with first-touch distribution handled in the same manner as FIFA and PES.
Instead of giving you a through-ball button, though, Euro Soccer allows you to angle your pass with 360-degree accuracy, and play the ball exactly where you want it. At the hands of a less skilled developer, this could be chaos, but here it works extremely well.
Shooting is a little more haphazard. An arrow surrounds the player on the ball, showing you which direction he's running in. It also determines the angle from which he's shooting, which is fine in one-on-ones but trickier when you fancy blasting one on the turn.Total Football
Nevertheless, Euro Soccer plays a lovely game of footy. You can construct great passing moves thanks to the solid team-mate AI, and the opposition gives you enough time on the ball to stop the whole thing breaking down into a scrap.
First Touch Games is quietly supplanting EA as the king of mobile football, and with Euro Soccer's great looks, fluid gameplay, and fantastic production values the studio should be onto a another winner. Which is probably more than we can say for England.