Flick & Bump
Soccer Stars is a somewhat strange abstraction of the beloved sport. Teams and fields and goals and balls are all present, but instead of players you have a handful of little disks/pucks that you have to fling at the ball in order to hopefully score. It's also turn-based and you have to compete against other players, so there's that.
Lining up your shots is only half the battle.
- You can use any of your 'pucks' that are on the field. Whether that means using the same one for multiple turns in a row or taking a shot with what passes for your goal tender, any one of them is fair game.
- Use two fingers to aim pucks that are on the edges of the screen. Since aiming and adjusting shot strength require tapping, holding, and dragging, pieces that are on the edge can be quite tricky to aim properly. Fortunately if you start to set up a shot with one finger you can use a second finger (placed anywhere on the screen) to adjust the angle further – thus making it MUCH easier to aim from the side of the field/screen.
- Be mindful of your surroundings. Things often play out like a game of pool in that pucks can and will bounce off of each other, which will of course affect their trajectories. This can mess you up, or it can be used to your advantage in order to knock opposing pieces out of the way or block off potential gaps in your defenses.
- The ball is lighter than everything else. This means that it bounces farther and faster than pucks. So, you know, try to plan your shots accordingly so as to avoid under- or over-shooting.
- It's usually a good idea to just use one puck over and over. By electing to move only one of your pieces instead of multiple, you should be able to keep a pretty solid defense in front of your goal. Until everything starts to knock into everything else and they get pushed around a bit, anyway.
- You can practice offline if you need to. By scrolling all the way to the right on the main menu screen you can find the Practice Offline button that will allow you to play 1-on-1 against a friend locally by passing your mobile device back and forth. This will use Coins (in-game currency) as an entry fee, however. And you can't earn those coins back when playing offline.
The Spirit of Competition
Indifference is overall response I've had to Soccer Stars. It's not bad in a technical or even an objective sense, but it's not particularly interesting either. I suppose anyone who enjoys playing competitively and earning in-game money by betting in-game money against others in tournament play might have a bit of fun with it, but otherwise it's all pretty flat.