Foosball 3D a Kick in the Wrong Direction

This app is not currently available in the App Store.

foosball 3d iphone appFoosball 3D attempts to bring the popular table game to the iPhone. Unfortunately the lack of control options makes the game dissolve into a contest of swiping your finger in a maddening flurry.

Foosball works by moving a series of handles that have one or more soccer players stationed on them. Rotate them quickly to slap the ball toward your opponent's goal. Foosball 3D converts this to the iPhone screen by having the player swipe a finger from left to right to move all of the players at once in those directions. Swiping up and back on the field spins the players and will kick the ball toward the opponent's goal.

The problem in Foosball 3D is that this control scheme works out to having very little control over the game. Because you control all the players at once, it is hard to keep track of who is doing what.

More importantly, it messes with where you intend to hit the ball. Smash the ball with one of your players near the goal, and one of those in midfield may be in the way because they are in the same position on the field as the one who kicked the ball. There were also a few times when a ball got stuck in a corner or side of the table. This meant some creative use of physics to try and free the ball or waiting for the timer to run out.

Foosball 3D has four options for gameplay: first to score wins, the first to score five wins, a two-minute match or a  one-minute match. Unfortunately there are no options for multiplayer (although admittedly it would be hard to share the screen) or a competitive mode through a shared Wi-Fi network, as is becoming more popular in other games.

There are some nice touches in Foosball 3D — an announcer makes a long "Goooal" pronouncement when you score. And with a little practice you are likely to dominate the computer opponent. But overall the Foosball 3D experience is not that compelling and likely will not keep your attention.

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This app is not currently available in the App Store.

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