Just Browsing: Sport and the Economy
Happy Easter one and all. Yes it is a bit late, I realise that, but you see I spent my entire easter completely lost in one single game. I feel it is my duty to further ruin the economy of the country by spreading the word of this addictive game and thus destroying any office companies that allow their users freedom to browse.
New Star Soccer by New Star Games
I am completely at a loss for words regarding this game. You see, it has been said that I am not much of a football fan, and I’ve rarely touched the soccer gaming genre in recent times. That being said, there was a time when I was feverishly addicted to a Championship Manager 2. That was 1996. I remember taking the helm of a lowly Swansea City , wallowing in division 3, and leading them to victory in the premiership. I was a hero. Enough of the nostalgia. New Star Soccer is some strange mutant spawn of the old school nature of Championship Manager, Sensible Soccer, The Sims, and a simple Paper Toss game. Somehow the result is the most unique, obsessive and habit-forming browser game I have come across all year.
Starting as a newly recruited youth player stuck in the depths of the Conference, you ride the wave of footballing stardom as you hopefully rise to become rich, talented and famous. To achieve this you must balance all sides of your life (The Boss, The Team, Fans, Sponsors and your Girlfriend) in simple mini-games as well as performing on the pitch. The matches themselves end up being a bizarre blend of tense Championship Manager like text and short scenarios where, as a player, you attempt to pass or score goals. The action can be summed up as Golf meets Sensible Soccer, where you must judge power, direction and spin for each pass and shot from a static position. Sometimes you have the choice to shoot or pass to a teammate who may be in a better position to score. Go for glory too often though and your team will despise you as a solo goal-seeker. It ends up being both exhilarating and frustrating at the same time as your team flounders despite your best efforts.
It should not work. The scenarios seem simplistic to the point of tedium but, as we so often find in life, somehow this compulsive need to win and drive your team higher keeps you hooked. As long as you do not go into this game thinking it is a footballing emulator but instead a silly arcade game, then there is a monstrous amount of fun to be had. The game is also available on mobiles (which judging by the design is its main focus), so once I’ve got a phone whose main function is not simple cavity wall insulation, I can see those travelling hours disappearing in minutes. Go Play.
Indie Buskers (not technically a game...yet)
Speaking of the economy, which I’m fairly sure was mentioned about 4 paragraphs ago, even Indie game designers are feeling the strain, resorting to outrageous ideas in an attempt to try and pump some commercial liquidity back into their pockets. Here then is a quick shout out to an intrepid pioneering team calling themselves the Indie Buskers, whom have decided they will make games based on any ideas that are thrown at them. In return you can give them some change if you like what you see. Just like that wailing, guitar strumming fool at the bottom of the elevator at Tottenham Court Road, only, you know, good and gamey. These buskers are no idle bums either, they are some of the best contributors to on-line browser gaming in recent years so the results should be superb.
Having already asked for ideas in the last month, the team are now asking for votes on the site for the best ideas. So you can still affect what games will be made. Judging by the possibilities, ranging from the ingenious:
“A game where the camera is a physical object your character has to pick up and move for you to see and navigate the world.”
to the downright absurb
“Guy installs a shotgun in his butt that goes off every time he farts, use this to stop the nazis.”
the results could be hilarious.
Clickedy Vote Now.