As much as football has a hundred different rules for different scenarios, it all really boils down to a few basic moves – passing, dribbling, and shooting. Maybe some tackling, if you're feeling fancy.
Sure, you can flavour all that in whatever way you want. Throw in some flourishes, why not. Stepping over the ball. Fake shots. Slide tackles. Lobbing. Whatever else footballers do.
But in Tiki Taka Soccer, all that is stripped away for a much more straightforward experience, boiling it all down to the four essential elements I mentioned above. And it works beautifully.
Like all good football games, the action takes place from a top-down perspective, and your tiny men will run about on a massive pitch trying to be the one with the ball as best as they can.
You can direct them with a few simple taps here and there. Want to tackle that guy? Tap him, your nearest player will move in. Passing? Tap your desired player. Dribbling? Yep, that's a tap too.
In fact, the only time you're not tapping will be because you're shooting, and that requires a new gesture – swiping. I know! The horror.
As you may have guessed, Tiki Taka Soccer is incredibly simple to play. But that doesn't mean it's a bad, boring game. In fact, its simplicity is part of what makes it so enjoyable.
You don't need to worry about overhead volleys or the perfect set-pieces. These things show up, of course, but they're not the focus. It's all about that rapid play.
If you hadn't already googled it, "tiki taka" is a style of football associated with short passes and lots of them. That's really what you're encouraged to do here – smack that ball about as quickly as possible, score goals at a rapid pace, and keep the game moving.
If a set piece has to happen, the game speeds up time to get everyone in the right place. Resets after a goal happen at lightning pace. This is a game about speed, and you need to keep the rhythm to succeed.
Keeping the gameplay itself fast also means you won't spend forever playing. It's perfect for picking up, having a kickabout, and then chucking it to the side for later - unless you fancy getting into the team management stuff on the side.
But no. Not for me. I'm here for a nice time, and then rushing off to catch my bus, just like it would've been in my youth had I had friends. That's the Tiki Taka Soccer I'm here to play. And it's everything I need.