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Nintendo Switch  header logo

Soccer Slammers Switch review - A football game that's far too chaotic for its own good


For: Switch

Kicking it off

Product: Soccer Slammers | Format: Switch | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
 
Tabletop football, or foosball, should feel like frantic fun. The kind that comes from having little to no hand in the frenetic result of spinning the handles and hoofing the ball up the wooden pitch.

Soccer Slammers has a similar vibe to it. Constantly moving, always hyper in its style of play and visuals, it's like the beautiful game got an injection of adrenaline straight to the heart.

You'll control one of two players on a minuscule pitch bordered by strong walls. These make sure the ball never escapes play and is in constant motion. This is football with all of the rules stripped back - no free kicks or penalties, no corners or throw-ins.

Fool's ball?

The simplistic nature of the game makes it infinitely playable - there are minimal controls, with only one button to pass, one one to shoot, and another for tackling. You can hold the right shoulder button to sprint in short bursts.

There's an arcade feel to the pick up and play sensibility which is amplified when you score a goal and the screen is flooded with the flag of the country you're playing as. This style perfectly accompanies the forced retro style of the blocky characters.

Soccer Slammers Switch review screenshot - Scoring a goal

However, for all its fun and excitement in looks and style, enjoyment can be lacking here. Soccer Slammers is often overly simplistic. Tackling the opposing side seems to result in a random outcome. You might steal the ball, you might not.

Shooting can also feel a little too scattershot - you carefully aim in the direction of the goal and watch as the ball pings randomly across the tiny pitch.

While it looks great seeing the ball fly through the air, leaving a trail of colour behind it, the satisfaction of scoring is fleeting.

Soccer Slammers Switch review - A shot goes just wide

Too often the opposing team snatch the ball and score from their end of the pitch. The pace is so fast at times that score lines can read well into double digits for each team. And while that may sound fun, it often leads to too much downtime with kick-off after kick-off.

Own goal

The randomness that comes from a Foosball game is all well and good when you're stood in the pub with a friend after a few beers, but here it feels like everything that makes football so interesting is absent.

While the dashing animation of a tackle looks the part, watching it fail, only for the other team to score from miles away as your keeper stands there lifeless, is frustrating. Because you can no more control the keeper than your teammate.

Soccre Slammers Switch review screenshot - Moving through midfield

There are times when you're open for a pass and your teammate has the ball, but he'll decide instead to take a shot. Or simply lose the ball.

A choice of either a Quick Play game or World Cup offers very little in variation - choose a team, play for a few minutes, become frustrated with your lack of control over the outcome, rinse and repeat.

There's nothing to unlock, no sense of progression and the only option to really personalise the game comes from changing the look of the ball. It's baffling to think that there's more fun in a game of FIFA International Soccer for the Game Gear.
 
Soccer Slammers Switch review - A football game that's far too chaotic for its own good
Reviewer photo
Dan Lipscombe | 27 June 2018
For all its silliness, Soccer Slammers is just too random to be really engaging
 
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