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Well, this is an oddity and no mistake. It was one of the things offered for free as part of Apple's 2012 12 Days of Christmas promotion, and I almost didn't bother to download it, since it looked a bit pointless. However, since it was free, I decided it might be worth a go... and promptly lost several hours as I became instantly addicted!
As you might possibly guess from its name, punctuation challenged Score! is a football game. However, rather than being a standard football game, Score! simply requires you to score goals... more precisely goals that have already been scored. It gives you the chance to use your skill and accuracy to recreate some of the best international goals ever scored
Although technically a football game, play is limited to around 20 seconds or so of action - the build-up to the actual goal and nothing more. Succeed in scoring the goal and you move to the next level, fail and you have to have another shot (literally).
It's a surprisingly fun challenge. It might sound a little odd taking just a few seconds of action out if context, but it works well. It means you don't have to get bogged down in long gaming sessions, and there are not tons of controls or options to master. Gameplay boils down to a few seconds where you just have to score a goal. If only real football were this interesting!
The scope of the game is truly impressive. Although limited to international matches, the game stretches back to the 1980s, covering over three decades of great goals. Nor is it limited to the obvious tournaments (the World Cup or European Championships), but also includes things like the ill fated Tournoi or the American championships.
Graphics are pretty good, although obviously we aren't talking FIFA13 quality, but they are on a par with the FIFA franchise around the start of the century. Players are nicely modelled (although don't really bear much resemblance to their real life counterparts) and animation is smooth so that kicks and headers look realistic. Stadia are reasonably well represented (although again, we're not talking photorealistic models), although crowd figures are a little disappointing.
There are a number of nice presentational touches, too. Prior to each goal, basic details of the match (teams, location, match date and KO time) are displayed on a "ticket". After the game, a little summary of the match (who won etc.) is given in a short "newspaper" report, which helps to put the goal you have just scored in context. You even get a replay of your goal from a number of different angles, so you can sit back and admire your skill. These are only little things, but they really help the game to hang together as a coherent whole, rather than feeling like random snippets of football action.
Sound is fine, but nothing spectacular. There's a bog standard crowd noise, together with the odd line of spoken commentary, but not much else. It's a shame that this commentary is just random samples made up of some generic phrases ("great pass" "what a shot!" etc.) rather than being taken from the actual commentary for that game (this is presumably due to licensing issues). It does its job, though.
Controls are as simple as the idea behind the game. All you have to do is draw a line showing where you want the ball to go. Using this method you can recreate shots, passes and even put swerve on the ball. The control method is reasonably forgiving so that on most levels as long as you get the basic trajectory right, you are not expected to make a pixel perfect pass every time. If only football were this easy, I'd be earning millions right now!
It's true that it's not the most challenging of games. Most levels will require just one or two attempts to complete (particularly on the Amateur levels where on screen markings show you exactly what you need to do). Even some of the trickier later levels (which require perfect execution for the moves to come off) are not massively challenging. True, you will come across the odd level where you need several attempts, but you will breeze through most of it in no time at all.
This simple gameplay, does, however, make it perfect for casual gaming. Each level lasts a matter of seconds, so you can play grab a quick game when you have a spare few moments. The lack of meaningful challenge is also made up for by a massive amount of levels. There are several different difficulty levels (amateur, professional etc.) and completing one set unlocks another. Each difficulty setting consists of an incredible amount of different levels, although it's disappointing that the Advanced levels are exactly the same as the ones in Basic - they just require a greater degree of accuracy. Still, there is quite a lot of gaming time needed to unlock and play everything.
Even allowing for all this, though, the game's major drawback has to be that it is too easy. By providing arrows and guides as to exactly what you need to do, it is never truly challenging. It would, perhaps have been better simply to give you an overview of the original goal in the form of a diagram and then get you to recreate it without further help.
Even though I got this for free, I can happily recommend it for its normal download price of 69p. It's packed with a ridiculous amount of levels and whilst it might it be the most challenging game ever, it's a surprising amount of fun. A must have app for the football fan in your life!
(c) Copyright SWSt 2013