Welcome back to Weird Game Wednesday, where some of the writers here at UTF join you every week to show you the weirdest, craziest and just plain odd games out there at the moment.
This week, I’ll be discussing a little game called Head Soccer. First things first – it’s an app rather than a console or computer game (and a free app at that). It can be played on all iOS and Android devices… except iPads, where it looks awful and become ten times harder to play. Anyway, Head Soccer is what it says on the tin – a football (that’s right America, football) game where you control several horrifically mutated characters with enormous heads, no arms and really stumpy legs.
Head Soccer contains a large selection of ‘colourful’ characters, each with their own power-shot. There’s around fifteen real countries, some who are actually good at football and some who are just picked so the developer can use another weird stereotype for the power-shot (of which there are many, some being confusingly random or inaccurate stereotypes. And if they’re not stereotypes, they’re just odd), and around seven made-up countries, including an emo guy who can turn into a bat, a clown that shoots a stream of candy, an alien that can only be unlocked via the random chance that a spaceship turns up in the tournament final, a cyborg and a character that’s part cartoon, part anime.
The real countries aren’t exactly normal either. Canada has the terrifying power of turning the player into a snowman, Egypt has a similar power that turns the player into a strange sand blob, Greece, the supposed ‘best character’ in the game has a weirdly ineffectual power involving arrows, Portugal wears a Spider-Man mask and shoots webs (because clearly Spider-Man is, and always has been, Portuguese), Irelend takes the form of a clover-chewing leprechaun, and China… China is a monkey that can summon an enormous monkey and/or a monkey army. Let’s not read too much into that one.
It’s not just the characters that make Head Soccer weird. It’s quite a fun and addictive game, but it’s really, really badly made, and a lot of the weirdness just stems from the game itself and not the content. There’s the ball physics, which ensure that the goal is 100% more magnetic in the final ten seconds of a game, ensure that power-shots will always rebound when you need a goal the most and make the ball fly around like crazy for no particular reason. Then, there’s the terrifyingly stupid enemy AI. Entire games can pass with no incident if you don’t move at all during the game, the enemy has an odd habit/skill of juggling their ball on the top of their head whilst moving backwards into their own goal, and the enemy has no sense of aim whatsoever. If they actually manage to land a power-shot on you, chances are it’ll just rebound into their own net.
Head Soccer is available to download now for free, and is probably worth a few minutes of your time. Just remember that when you teleport through the ball and score an own goal or, while attempting to go to sudden death, are foiled by the utter stupidity of your opponent, you’re not the only one. And yes, that Spider-Man guy you see is Portugal.
——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–Louis Rabinowitz (@SadCyberman) is a fan of quite a lot of things, but mainly Doctor Who, Breaking Bad, Marvel, James Bond and shooters which he’s really not very good at. He also really likes puns and cliches, which is why he’s talking about himself in the third person.