What makes the iPhone great for football is that it satisfies the fan’s footballing needs on several levels. Whether it’s playing an 11-a-side match, watching the weekend highlights, or managing a football team, the iPhone can do it all! Here are 5 Apps that together will cater for everything a fan could possibly ask for from their iPhone.
Kick Flick Football shows that it’s not complicated to create a great and addictive football game. The game simply involves free-kick-taking from various angles across a few game modes such as 10 kicks, 5 lives and Sudden Death.
What really makes this game work shine though is the accuracy of the touch-screen in measuring how hard and in what way you kick the ball. There are few feelings on the iPhone quite as satisfying as watching a slow-mo replay of a swerving 30-yard shot going over the wall and dipping into the goal beyond the stretching goalie.
The fun of this simple flickie football game puts under-polished big-name games such as FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer to shame.
As many of us know, Football Manager for the PC is not so much a game as an all-consuming database of football stats that’s capable of consuming the life of anyone who’s dreamed of managing a football team. Football Manager for the iPhone certainly cuts down in content from its PC counterpart, but the essence of the game is still there.
The game allows you to control clubs from 34 leagues across 11 countries and contains a surprisingly large amount of players for you to scout. This latest version has added more options in the match tactics department (though it’s still a bit light) and allows the player to run 3 leagues simultaneously.
The fact that it’s not as immersive as the PC version is not necessarily a bad thing, and being able to play it on the move is a great way to feed your FM addiction at times when you don’t feel guilty for not doing something better with your time.
There are several great live score centre Apps out there, but none can compete with the official Sky Sports App.
As well giving live score updates from all of Europe’s biggest leagues, this free App allows you to watch highlights of the most recent matches, read the latest football headlines, and listen to Sky Sports Radio. You can also save your favourite team, giving you quicker access to their fixtures and results.
As if this plethora of functions wasn’t enough, there is also a 3D pub finder, which can locate the nearest pub to you that is showing Sky Sports 3D football matches. For those who are so football-obsessed that they need up-to-the-minute updates on all its goings-on, no App does quite like Sky’s free service.
ESPN Goals is fundamentally similar to Sky Sports Football Centre. It offers live scores, football news and allows you to receive Push Notifications with news about your selected favourite teams.
However, ESPN Goals also offers something that not even Match of the Day does, and that is instant access to highlights of the goals as they happen (with the exception of the Premier League on Saturdays, when you have to wait until 5:15 p.m due to the blackout until that time). The catch is that this service comes at a price of £3.99 a month, £10.99 for 190 days, or £29.99 for a whole season.
If you want almost instant no-nonsense access to the goals without having to listen to the analyses of the all-too-chirpy Gary Lineker or miserable Mark Lawrenson on Match of the Day, then ESPN Goals is a worthy investment.
While no full 11-a-side football game has really blown me away on the iPhone, Real Football 2011 is the best of the bunch. It features a good selection of fully-licensed teams, fast-paced gameplay and a fun selection of modes. The controls are responsive, making it worth going for those ambitious volleys and long-range screamers. Some of the more interesting playable modes include ‘Enter the Legend’, in which you control a single player on a team, and ‘History’ mode, in which you have to overturn a deficit in various historical World Cup fixtures. Real Football may not be ambitious, but will satisfy those in need of a quick digital-footy fix.