New Star Soccer is a football game for iPhone and iPad that's half sports action, half RPG progression, and all mobile fun. See also: New iPad review.

While Gameloft and EA try to cram full console football experiences into an awkward touch screen interface, indie developer Simon Read has tried to simplify the sport. It’s proved to be a masterstroke.  See also: iPad app reviews and iPhone app reviews

As a single striker starting out, you begin in non-league football, working your way to the big time. On the pitch, this means scoring wonder goals and setting up chances for your team. Off the pitch, it means dressing for success and decking your house in so much tat that MTV's Cribs would stage a tackiness intervention.

This RPG side of the game is just a bonus, though: it's on match day that it really shines. Each chance starts from a top-down perspective. You pull back on the ball, Angry Birds style, to set the power and direction. When you release, the ball comes in from a first-person perspective and you tap at the right angle to set the curve, deftly dinking it over heads, or screeching into the top corner. You have to think, though: greedy players don't get passed to, and inaccurate strikers get dropped.

Between matches, you can train up your skills to make an impression when Saturday comes. With work, your player can be faster and more powerful, both to ensure more wins, and to get that big-money transfer.

New Star Soccer for iOS: Specs

  • Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.Requires iOS 3.0 or later
  • Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.Requires iOS 3.0 or later

OUR VERDICT

It's a testament to the brilliant gameplay that even football haters will get something out of this iPhone and iPad game. While others strive for realism, New Star Soccer aims for the perfect mobile experience, and effortlessly hits the top corner.

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