It's amazing no one's thought of it before, really. First Touch's Score! Classic Goals has such an obvious and compelling idea at its core that it seems like it should have been made a thousand times over.
Quite simply, you have to score classic goals. 80 of them, in fact. All of these iconic strikes are taken from memorable international football matches, which play out on-screen almost exactly as you remember them.Get in!
The interaction may be simple, but the results are captivating. As the build-up to the next goal plays out in front of you, the game will pause for every pass, shot, or cross.
From there, you just drag your finger across the screen where you want the ball to go, much like in PikPok's Flick Kick Football and Full Fat's Flick Soccer! You can add curl by sweeping left and right, and on the Professional difficulty setting you can hit the ball harder by drawing the line faster.
The engine is surprisingly robust - presumably because it doesn't actually have that much to calculate. In truth, Score! Classic Goals looks like a console footy sim, replete with brilliant animation, pin-sharp models, and first-class ball physics. Curling in a peach of a free kick or bending in an inch-perfect cross is immensely satisfying.
It's the unmistakable aroma of pure nostalgia that really keeps you coming back, mind. While the opening challenges - goals from the 2010s - are too fresh in the memory to stir real pangs of emotion, as soon as you're back in the 2000s and the 1990s and netting classic after classic, it's time to whip out the tissue box.
Michael Owen's vs Argentina at World Cup 98? Gazza vs Scotland at Euro 96? Roberto Carlos's ridiculous banana kick in the '97 Tournoi? All present and correct.
Back Of The Net
If there's any criticism to be levelled at this monumentally addictive little game, it would be aimed at the absence of any instruction or feedback for improving your performance.
In Score! Classic Goals, every shot you take and every pass you make is considered "OK", "Good", or "Excellent". You're then awarded a mark out of three stars once you put the ball in the back of the net.
It's not really made clear, though, how you can actually improve your efforts. Certainly, matching the direction the real-life player hit the ball is one way to grab a better rating, but the game is still unusually harsh.
It doesn't matter, mind. Stars aren't required to unlock levels, so if you can curb your completism and just enjoy the thudding of leather and rippling of net, then Score! Classic Goals is a genuine must-buy for the football fanatic.