Fluid Football (a.k.a Fluid Soccer in the US app store) is a tactical football game where it places you in preset match situations with the main objective is to score a goal. It is your task to come up with a plan and play to score. Each level provides different kinds of challenges and the way you score lies ultimately in your own strategy and tactic. It is a tactical football simulation where you control your whole team (the given number of players that is within the level) and play some fluid football.
There are many levels in the current version and there are still more to come in the future updates. Each level puts you into different kinds of situations, whether is it from a corner kick, throw-in or an open play. The game only starts once you start performing an action say passing or dribbling. This thus gives you ample time to formulate your winning strategy at the very start of each level. There are endless ways to win the level and it is up to your call as to how you want to run the play. There are, however, some objectives that you might want to meet. Each level has 3 different objectives that you can complete. The main common one of all levels is to score a goal. There are other objectives for example the time you take to score a goal, the number of passes completed before scoring, the position as to where you shoot to score and so on. While some of these objectives are conflicting or impossible to meet within a single playthrough, you can choose to replay the level to meet individual objectives.
Meeting objectives provides you with gold coins that can be used to purchase advice, hints and reshoots. These can be useful should you ever get stuck in any level. It is also nice to see how the developers come out with their own fluid beautiful plays. Levels get more and more challenging as you proceed on. The first few levels let you adjust to the controls and allow you to understand the game while the later few levels put your brain to the test. The challenge and difficulty is fun and even more so because there are just so many different ways to complete each level.
The controls are simple to understand but can become somewhat cumbersome and clunky when executing. You tap and drag the player with the ball to get him dribbling. You tap and hold to initiate a pass. While this sounds simple, I find myself struggling to pass or dribble at will in the crucial moments of the play. This can become frustrating as what could be a wonderful play becomes rubbish because instead of passing you perform a dribble. This cannot be completely avoided but can be minimized once you get used to the controls.
To pass you simply drag into the path of the target player. Passes will automatically be lofted should there be an opponent in the way. The speed and height of the pass will be adjusted to fit the exact run of your target. The target running speed is also adjusted to meet the exact landing position of the ball. While this sounds useful, it becomes more of a hindrance should you need the ball to move at a faster pace or for your player to run to a position at a specific time. Now this is where to skills come in. You can somewhat play “manually” by passing into open space first before timing your runs. This will make the ball move at the original pace without any adjustments to sync with the target player. Making runs can also be timed and executed in such a way. When you master the technique of passing and running manually, your plays will become much more fluid and beautiful than before. To see some of such plays you can spend some gold coins to buy advice for the last few levels.
Once in position, you can tap the shoot button and this will initiate a shot. Depending on the position of the defenders and goal keeper, your shot can be extremely easy or tricky. Shots are executed by flicking your finger from bottom to top. To curl the ball, you simply flick your finger according to the type of curl you want. The ball somewhat traces the path of your fingers when flicking. This allows you to do some insane curls that will become useful should there be a defender right in front of you. Shots can only be taken once and there is no such thing as rebounds.
There are two speeds at which the match can be run, one of them being the normal speed and the other to slow the game down. Both are important as to make precise plays, you have to slow the game down (unless you are very quick in executing your actions). While slowing the game down does remove some of the excitement, it allows you create some of the most intrigue and creative plays.
Once you score, you complete the level and depending on the number of objectives met, you receive different amount of gold coins. There is a replay feature but it only shows only your final shot. That is extremely disappointing knowing that the game’s main standout gameplay is the whole play itself rather than the final shot. It would be nice, or rather a must, for the developers to include replaying the whole play rather than just the final shot. Hopefully a future update will correct this mistake (yes I strongly believe this is a mistake). Uploading and viewing other people’s solution would be a great feature as well. With that said, the game is only released for less than a month and these features can be added in future updates.
The graphics of the game is extremely simple. They aren’t flashy or artistic but it gets the job done. It is after all somewhat a tactical simulation and the graphics being simplistic facilitates the gameplay perfectly. There is definitely much room for improvement but as of now the gameplay is what matters most. Perhaps a graphical enhancement can be introduced in a sequel should there be any. Sound effects wise is bare minimal but again it is mostly the gameplay that stands out in the game. There are some commentary done by football commentators (they come in just when the level ends) but they become boring and to some extent irritating once you finish a few levels (there are very few variety and lines thus it gets recycled over and over again).
In conclusion, Fluid Football is a fun game for football fans and even if you aren’t one, you should try it out as it performs well as a touch based device game. It is free and is supported by advertisements and in app purchases (IAP). IAP includes level packs, gold coins and the ability to remove advertisement.
iTunes Appstore Link: Fluid Football