“Can’t you just pretend you’re the other team?” said my 6 year old daughter, following up with “I can’t watch,” as she hid her face. Luckily for her the final own goal to gift my opponent victory took place as she cringed behind the safety of her cushion.
Unfortunately for me it was an inauspicious start to my foosball ‘Championship’ career, as I lost my first two games 5-0, with nine of those goals being at my own hand. At first I thought I was missing some vital gameplay mechanic but it turned out all I was missing was the skill to be able to play the game competently. The more I played the less heavy the defeats became. Eventually I started to get to grips with the tactics involved and Soon enough I scraped a 5-4 win and felt that I had turned a corner. Sadly I hadn’t and it was followed by the repeated defeats that caused my daughter’s embarrassment.
Pro Foosball was originally released back in February here but it’s receiving another promo push because of its upcoming US release. It is, as you might expect, a game in which you take control of a team in a match of table football. Control comes from the left stick (moving the players up and down the width of the table) and the right stick (to flick the players out left or right to kick the ball). There is also the option to use some button shortcuts with Circle as pass and Square as shoot. I usually went for the sticks for the most part and then Square in my (many) moments of panic. Pro Foosball is also Move compatible for those of you looking for a motion gaming fix.
You can play in a variety of locations, like a student common room, a gym or even the beach. The main mode is a championship which sees you play an opponent in each location and increases in difficulty as you progress. There is also a quick play mode and a tutorial/free play option to hone your skills. In addition to this you also have ‘Madness’ mode, which reminded me a lot of Mortal Kombat’s ‘Test Your Luck’. You choose to handicap your match with a variety of different modifiers such as low gravity, a super long table, magnets or even a bumpy playing surface, among others.
I think this is a game that is much more enjoyable with friends, although it’s local play only, so you’ll need to assemble everyone at your place rather than gathering online. It seems like it would be great fun in a party environment, especially with the ‘Madness’ mode that can help to keep it fresh and interesting.
My daughter did get to see me win a game eventually and I found myself on a three win streak at some stage, so I did have fun with this title. I checked my stats before powering off and it doesn’t give you a win/loss ratio but it does give you your goals conceded average per game – mine is 4.75, which gives you a good indication of my struggles when getting to 5 goals wins you the match.
Pro Foosball has plenty going for it and at times it certainly feels like you are playing a game of real table football. I had a good time with it and think it could be fun with friends.