GolMania has potential, but it’s not quite a beautiful game just yet

GolMania is different than almost every sports game on Facebook. Instead of an in-depth management experience, it’s a more simple arcade-style soccer game. You play quick, high scoring games against other players in real time and the game is bright and cartoony. It’s a refreshing change of pace. Unfortunately, the core soccer play isn’t all that solid, and in its currently early state the game is also missing some key features.

The game boils soccer down to its basics. Matches are five on five, last only two minutes, and you don’t have to deal with pesky rules like fouls or yellow cards. The controls, likewise, are quite simple. You control your little team with the arrow keys and just two buttons, which handle shooting, passing, and tackling. In theory this is a great set-up for a real time Facebook version of soccer, as the game is not only fast paced but also accessible.

The problem is that it just isn’t that good.

GolMania

GolMania

Movement is stiff and awkward and tackling feels incredibly unreliable. The fact that goals come quickly and easily is fine, since this is an arcade game, but your braindead AI teammates are inexcusable. They don’t play defense and often when the ball is in nobody’s possession all of the AI players will simply stand around and wait.

As you win matches you’ll earn both experience and money but, at least right now, there’s little incentive to earn either. The shop mode is currently listed as “coming soon” (as is a missions feature), while levelling up does little else than open up new stadiums to play in.

Of course, GolMania did just launch, and so the fact that key features are incoming isn’t necessarily surprising. But the problems with the game run deeper than that. Without some fine tuning of the actual gameplay, GolMania will remain a game that looks like it’s a lot more fun than it actually is. And it’s a shame, because the vibrant, colorful game has a lot of potential to bring some proper soccer action to Facebook. Let’s hope it eventually does just that.

Vostu takes social soccer real-time with GolMania

Vostu may be best known recently for its legal battle with Zynga, but the company is also a major player when it comes to gaming in Brazil. And now Vostu is tackling its home country’s favorite sport, with the release of GolMania on Facebook, an arcade-style soccer experience.

Whereas most Facebook soccer games, such as Top Eleven or FIFA Superstars, go the management route, letting you control a pro team behind the scenes, GolMania lets you actually play the game. Vostu describes it as “the first real time multi-player social soccer game on Orkut and Facebook.” Check out the trailer to see the game in action.

And unlike other Vostu games on Facebook, like Megacity, GolMania is playable in English (in addition to Spanish and Portugese), bringing the developer to a whole new audience.

Stay tuned to Gamezebo for our full review of GolMania on Facebook.