Pocket League Story is classic Kairosoft – now with added soccer!
Whenever I wake up to the news that a new Kairosoft management game has been released, I know that my entire day is ruined. Everything I’ve planned, everything I hope to get done that day – it’s not going to happen anymore. Kairosoft games are far too addictive for their own good, and everything else in your life is quickly forgotten as you play “just one more hour” over and over again.
You’d think that by this latest release, Pocket League Story, the formula would have started to grow a little stale. This is essentially the same concept as every other Kairosoft game, but with a soccer theme splashed over the top. Yet no – Pocket League Story is just as essential as all the others, and will eat your time whether you like it or not.
You take control of an up and coming soccer team, as it works its way up the ranks, topping leagues and winning cups, to become the ultimate team. Along the way, you’ll need to attract fans to help support your team, hire more players with better experience and skill sets, build and upgrade facilities at your team’s home ground to make sure you’re also on the ball, and bring sponsors in to keep the money flowing.
The action takes place in two different areas. You’ll spend a lot of time at the training ground, watching your guys dribbling around cones and taking shots on goal to improve their stats. From here you can swap your team around, buy new players, and pretty much everything else to keep your team afloat.
As with other Kairosoft games, everything is set out in a quick and clean manner, and it’s really simple to swiftly get to whichever section you need. There isn’t too much to keep an eye on either, so you never feel swamped with stats and menus.
The other half is the actual matches themselves. Whenever you have a match, your players will pile onto a bus and head off to the pitch, where you’ll be able to sit back and watch them either destroy the other team or lose to a stronger opponent.
During matches, interactions are minimal. You can sometimes activate a player’s aura to make them a speed demon on the pitch, but this only happens in specific conditions. For the most part, you’re simply watching the match and hoping for a good result.
Of course, depending on how well you’ve trained your players and how well your team gels, the result will either sway in or out of your favour. In this way, Pocket League Story can be somewhat compared to the big Championship Manager games and the like that so many hardcore football fans pour hours of play into.
It’s worth noting, however, that Pocket League Story is open to both soccer fans and those people who have never kicked a ball in their life. You can choose to switch your team around, caring for their stats and honing their abilities – but if you have no idea what you’re doing, then it’s perfectly easy to play without all that stuff too.
Pocket League Story is oozing with personality – again, as most of Kairosoft’s games do. Watching your players’ training is wonderfully cute, as they play keepy uppy and fire shots at your keeper. During matches they’ll get knocked down but still have big smiles on their faces. It gives a lovely tone over the whole game.
For huge Kairosoft fans, Pocket League Story will feel somewhat simplistic compared to other games. There aren’t as many options and things to do, and it’s really easy to keep winning over and over. The rules of football have also been cut down rather a lot – there are no fouls, offside, penalties, subs, and other elements.
That said, if you’re a Kairosoft fan, you’ve most likely already grabbed the game before even getting to the end of this review. That’s because you know you’re going to enjoy hours of proven management fun – and you wouldn’t be wrong. Pocket League Story is once again a great release from Kairosoft.