Lacking the corporate sheen of the officially sanctioned FIFA games but with a much more realistic games engine, Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer has long been the choice of serious soccer fans on PC and console. Following a succesful transfer to the iOS with the 2010 version, PES 2011 is now available from the Android App Store.
As ever the strength of PES is the gameplay. Despite the restriction of having to use a virtual controller via your device's touchscreen, PES feels like the rarest of things: a full-featured mobile game. It takes a while to get to grips with tackling and heading (as it should), and goals are tough to come by (as they should be), but with some practice you'll feel immersed in as realistic a football sim as you can find.
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The learning curve is relatively steep, but the standard required of newbies is far from frightening. Load the game and quick-start into a match and all but the most digitally challenged will be able to compete from the off. More importantly, when you’re playing against the game – as you will almost always be on a mobile device – the AI is sufficiently intelligent. Sometimes we found the player changes frustratingly difficult to second guess, but this has always been a criticism of Pro Evo, and with practice you get used to it.
Stadia and pitches are designed and rendered beautifully, and we like the way the pitches change to suit ‘overhead conditions’. And far from the days where every Dutch player was known simply as 'Oranges', PES now has details of oodles of top European teams, with officially licensed UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League modes (obviously you won't try your hardest in the latter).
See also: GamePro UK