In Footy Golf players take the role of a small, pixelated character with the aim of kicking a football into the back of a goal, much like football. In order to do this, you swipe the screen in any direction and for any length, giving the shot both angle and distance, much like golf. There are 100 levels to complete in total, with 20 levels each within five different stages. Every level is unique in its design: one net may be up in the heavens, whereas another may require you to patiently take small shots above and under obstructions. Further to this, each stage houses a unique environment. World 1 is set in a standard urban area with trees and benches as obstacles, 2 is set underground with pits of lava waiting to pop your football, World 3 is the industrial stage with crates and cranes, relax a bit more on the beach next to palm trees in 4, and World 5 gets you into the Christmas spirit by making you manoeuvre around snowballs and Christmas trees.
Each level awards you with a score out of three stars: maximum points will be given for those who score a goal in the shortest possible number of shots, but one star for those who only just make it through the round. The more stars you earn the more XP you collect, which is essential in unlocking the next World. If you find you don’t have 10 XP spare to unlock World 2, then you may have to go back and try and reduce the number of kicks certain levels took you. There are also collectibles to be had in coins and crystals. Coins are needed to unlock levels and new characters, of which there are 60 ranging from spikey-haired children to fish. Crystals unlock new football-types that have unique abilities.
Footy Golf’s simplicity is its main strength; in requiring just one drag of the finger to kick the ball, it can be played anywhere and at any time. The ease at which you can play it also means that you’ll make a good deal of progress fairly quickly, and the collectable items give the game longevity and each level replayability too. However, although each world is composed of different obstructions, and within these each has a different layout, Footy Golf does begin to feel samey after a short while. Everything is stationary, so once you get to grips with the correct elevation and power of each shot, the game becomes fairly simple; nothing is so unique as to pose too much of a challenge. It’s true that the levels do change in environment, but no unique challenges are added: a pit of lava is introduced, but this essentially acts the same as if you were to kick the ball off of a building and out of bounds in World 1. To stick with the same example, if spits of lava were to shoot up every few seconds, the game would be much more challenging, rewarding, and overall exciting.
Footy Golf’s simplicity is its main strength; in requiring just one drag of the finger to kick the ball, it can be played anywhere and at any time.
Just because a game isn’t difficult doesn’t make it bad, though. Footy Golf is well designed, looks great in its retro 8-bit style, and has enough unlockable items to keep you scoring for a while. On top of this it’s very simple to pick up and learn without requiring too much thinking. Yet it isn’t a game that will have you hooked for hours; there just isn’t enough to be found in the gameplay to warrant that. Perhaps for most it’s best to wait until Footy Golf becomes a real sport.