Review: Foosball for the iPhone

Illusion Labs, the company that created Sway, Touchgrind, and Labyrinth, has just released a new game called Foosball. As the name implies, it is a mobile version of the popular table soccer game, and is available for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.

The game has both single-player and local multiplayer, but hopefully Illusion Labs will consider adding online play in the future. There are three difficulty settings to choose from: easy, medium, and hard. The AI is good enough to give Spain a run for their money, and I only managed to get past their goalie once. And that was on easy. Playing local multiplayer can get pretty cramped on the 3.5 inch iPhone screen, but it is fine on the larger iPad.

The graphics look amazing, and take full advantage of the hardware on newer devices. The game has excellent effects when the ball is hit hard and bounces off-screen, or when you flick your players. The physics are very realistic and the ball rolls around as you would expect it to, and never gets stuck in a corner. The sound effects are great, and feel just like a real game of foosball.

The controls take some getting used to, and can sometimes be hard to use unless you have nimble fingers. I tried playing the iPhone version on a iPad with the 2x zoom enabled, and it was much easier to control due to the extra screen real estate. There is a native iPad version for $2.99, though the doubled iPhone version doesn’t look too pixelated because of the high-res retina display graphics.

Illusion Labs has done a great job at bringing the historic table top game to Apple’s mobile devices, but foosball really does require precise movements that can be hard to replicate on a touchscreen. Nevertheless, I highly recommend the iPad version if your planning on playing with friends, and the iPhone version is still a very enjoyable experience when playing solo, and well worth the 99 cents.


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