Review: Gameloft Real Soccer 2009

Play soccer from around the world on your iPhone. (October 31st, 2008)

MacNN Rating:


Product Manufacturer: Gameloft

Price: $9.99 US

The Good

  • Highly customizable. Good graphics. Real-world players. Enjoyable game play. Pick up and play options.

The Bad

  • Headphone cord gets in the way of the controls. Some big name real-world players missing. Mild earning curve related to button controls. Game is also available for the PC and consoles, but not for the Macintosh.

Real Soccer 2009 is the first soccer game to come to the iPhone and sets the bar very high for companies who want to release similar games. This 3-D soccer game features graphics that rival those of an original Playstation, simple controls, and plenty of options. You can choose from 198 different teams from various leagues including the English, German, and International leagues. Twelve different stadiums complete with several weather variants such as fine, rain and snow, plus both day and night modes, round out the myriad of options.

realsoccer2009 screen

Gameloft opted to implement a series of touch commands to control the game play and placed a D-pad, which is a 4-arrow directional controller similar to those used in a classic video game console, and an A (shoot) and B (pass) buttons along the bottom of the screen. This control scheme works well but has a mild learning curve, because it's unusual to push buttons on the screen. At first, I found my players standing still as my thumb moved too far off the virtual D-pad. You must be careful of how hard you tap the screen also, because you don't want to damage your iPhone or iPod touch.

realsoccer2009-controls screen

Real Soccer 2009 Controls

Each of the buttons also feature additional commands performed by double tapping a button or pressing and then sliding your finger in different directions. For example, double tapping a direction causes players to sprint and pressing B and then dragging up makes players cross the ball in the air. One other gripe I have with the controls is they are restricted to one orientation on the phone. The home button is on the right, so using the headphones is annoying because the cord gets in the way while using the D-pad.

Numerous Options

Real Soccer 2009 lets you enter into exhibition matches, compete in leagues for cups, practice penalty kicks, or enter a training mode to hone your skills. After you choose the game type, you have several options for customizing the game. First, you choose a team; some featuring real-world players, and then you pick the uniforms, the length of the game, difficulty, and rules. In addition, you can choose the starting line up and formation. The number of options enhances the replay value of the game and allows you to totally customize the experience.

realsoccer2009-controls screen

Choose Your Team

The addictive game play, great graphics, and numerous options make this game a lot of fun to play, plus it shows off the potential the iPhone has as a portable gaming device. It may take you a couple of games to adjust to the controls, but I feel that Gameloft chose the best options. As a football fan I was disappointed to find a few of my favorite teams didn't feature real-world players, but it is really a small detail that in no way detracts from the fun-factor this game presents.

by Bradley McBurney


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