Chillingo, in cooperation with Steamroller Studios, has prepared a surprise for all those that miss their clattering electric football games. Super Shock Football for the iPod Touch and iPhone is a godsend for everyone that’s lost all the pieces to their boards but refuse to get rid of them anyway. Now, these people can make the transition from the merely electric to the excitingly electronic and take a trip down memory lane at the same time. What could be better?
There’s one improvement over the old-fashioned motorized version – the graphics. Team members have no discernible facial features, but they look just like the pieces from the football table game, and can appear in one of five colors depending on the chosen team. The stadium has been appropriately shaped to please the eye of any football fan, and has been carefully crafted to duplicate a standard issue football stadium. The crowd is essentially a solid mass, but there are some graphical flourishes such as the engraved coin that you ‘flip’ at the start of each game, the Super Shock Football logo painted in the middle of the stadium, and the painted end zones. When it comes to graphics, this game is very much up to snuff.
The audio also shows the signs of hard work, and brings players into the footballing experience. As one might expect, the music is supplied from a brass band section, but that’s a small part of the presentation. The roar of the crowd, the sharp tweet of the referee’s whistle, and the call of the quarterback combine to form a suitable recreation of the professional football experience. Let’s see the old style game do that.
The game play is a bit complicated, though, especially for a football newbie. The game is divided into quickplay mode, 1 player mode, and 2 player mode. Quickplay automatically selects 2 of the 5 teams and plunges right into the action. 1 player allows selection of a team and the AI’s team before play, and 2 player mode remains a mystery as I could only play the game by myself. Still, it adds to the replay value.
What surprised me most about this game was the relative lack of control; players can select plays and throw passes, but players utilize “real world physics” so their movement can’t actually be controlled. This can backfire because players sometimes run in the wrong direction instead of scoring that winning touchdown. I like the way you can tilt the iPod Touch to reveal more of the field, but it would have been nice to have more control over the team. Also, some knowledge of football helps in selecting the plays, but it’s easy enough to blunder on through.
The game is a solid production. Nice graphics, good audio, and various kinds of game play. Only the lack of control prevents full enjoyment, but for casual football fans, this is a good selection.