Epic Goal is fun to play, but lacks longevity and is marred by poor design choices
In the wake of this year’s World Cup, football games are healthier than ever on Facebook. Epic Goal takes the fight directly to its competitors, and has far more ambition than making players sit on the sideline. Unfortunately, this ambition is a double-edged sword. Although your friends are put onto the pitch, the reality of making matches playable and engaging is much tougher to overcome.
Unlike the licensed swagger of EA Sports’ FIFA Superstars, Epic Goal forces you to choose a team of eleven friends. You get full say over what they look like and their positions, and have to train them up through real-time sessions that require no input whatsoever. If you want your mother to be a star striker, then so be it.
On the field your success comes down to how timely your mouse clicking skills are. Both teams automatically run, and you must press on instructions such as “Pass,” “Shoot,” and “Tackle” depending on the situation. Time it right and you’ll perform the action successfully. Get it wrong and you’ll lose possession, send a shot wide of the post, or slide past your opponent as if you had roller skates on.
There’s a friendly feel to Epic Goal, as the crunchy interface and vivid visuals make for a pleasant experience. Earning upgrades for your stadium and new skill sets for your players is rewarding as they can be put into practice on match days.
Regrettably, there’s also a hint of futility about the game’s main features. The most effective upgrades must be bought from the shop, training isn’t effective if you don’t long on every few hours, and matches are frustratingly rugged. It’s not rare for the game to stop when you have the ball, and then start moving again as an opponent fires one into the back of the net. Often, the matches themselves become disorientated due to major slowdown. It’s a real shame, as in full flow, Epic Goal is fun and rewarding.
Right now, Epic Goal doesn’t feel finished. The ideas are good and it’s appearance spot on for the target market, but this isn’t enough to smooth over the cracks. With a few tweaks, the potential of this title could be realised.