5 mobile games to get you through the World Cup 2018
From Russia with boredom
World Cup 2018 has kicked off! Over the next month, 32 national teams will compete for the biggest prize in football, if not sport.
Those of us who have been here before will know that the gaps in between matches can be pretty dull. Oh, sure, they're useful for eating and sleeping and bathing and working. But even when we're doing those things, we're basically just itching to get to the next match.
What we need is a distraction. Preferably a football-related one. These five mobile footy games should do the trick nicely.
Football Manager Touch 2018
Football Manager Touch 2018 is a brilliant management game, of that there's no doubt. But that's only part of the reason it tops our list.
As a second function, its serves as a comprehensive database of real life players. So, if you're wondering who that scampering Mexican winger is (it's Hirving Lozano), type it into the FM search field and check out his attributes.
Watch out though - nothing manages to destroy time and draw attention like Football Manager. You don't want to miss any games, do you?
New Star Soccer
For our money still the best all-round mobile footy game of the lot, New Star Soccer brilliantly crams the beautiful game onto portable devices.
The key is the game's particular mix of casual management and live gameplay. Off the pitch, you're managing the entire career of a young pro, negotiating transfers, training their skills, and ensuring an appropriate level of lifestyle bling.
On the pitch, the games are broken up into decisive moments - all of which you can take control of with a swipe-induced pass, shot or tackle.
For the most authentic and traditional replication of the beautiful game, look no further than PES 2018. Okay, so it's not the complete console experience that die-hard enthusiasts know and love.
However, unlike FIFA, PES 2018 is based on the same engine as the console version. You can tell as well by the lively, realistic way both ball and players behave in each match.
If you want something that resembles the action you're going to be seeing in Russia, look no further.
The World Cup is all about competition between nations, of course. Few games represent that side of football more purely than Soccer Stars.
It's a little like the classic tabletop football game, Subbuteo, in that you're taking it in turns to flick counter-like players at the ball.
The key thing here is that your opponent is a real life player. With speedy, reliable match-making, Soccer Stars will enable you to indulge in your own global tournament in between halves.
Flick Kick Football
You know those matches. The turgid 0-0 affairs that feel like they're 180 minutes long. The ones where you end up absent-mindedly flicking at your phone, glancing up occasionally to see what's going on.
Flick Kick Football is the ideal footy game for those occasions. All it requires to play each snappy round is a single swipey input.
It also helps that this remains one of the true tactile delights of the smartphone gaming age. Bending a shot around the wall just feels so right.