A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
The story sees repressed citizens rising up against an unjust authority, with themes including love of sports, helping folks in need, freedom, and rallying against corporate control.
Positive Role Models
The player's character -- a teen boy or girl -- campaigns for the return of soccer by helping out people with various tasks and bringing them all together on the pitch against the wishes of a corporate oppressor. They just just want to be free, do good, and have some fun.
The player's character is either a white boy or a tan-skinned girl. Other characters include boys, girls, men, and women of various ages and skin tones.
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Ease of Play
Three difficulty levels allow players to adjust the intensity of soccer matches. Some mini-games require a bit of skill, but there are no penalties for losing and starting again. Some controls can be a bit awkward.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Soccer Story is a downloadable role-playing game with a sports theme for Nintendo Switch, Windows PCs, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series S/X. Players take on the role of a cheerful, helpful teen -- a boy or girl -- who takes on a corporation that's trying to control anything and everything to do with soccer. They befriend several other characters of various genders, ages, and skin tones, and assist them with tasks ranging from cleaning up garbage to kicking down cairns, all while constantly working to improve their soccer skills and bring the game back to the people from which it was stolen. There's no violence, sex, profanity, substance use, or in-game purchases.
Is It Any Good?
You don't need to enjoy soccer to have a blast with this cute little role-playing game. To be sure, Soccer Story is an ode to what fans have dubbed The Beautiful Game, with many characters characters waxing lyrically about what the sport means to them and the role it plays in bringing together communities. But actual matches within the game are short and simple, consisting of just a handful of players passing, kicking, and sliding. The physics are basic and intuitive, and multiple skill levels means you don't need to be a soccer superstar to win (though the controls for a couple of things can be a little weird -- like aiming, shooting, and kicking fast shots all with the same hand).
But the game is about much more than just soccer. Presented in a cute, pixelated 2D style, players explore a vibrant world filled with fun characters who send players on all sorts of quests, from kicking balls at drone targets to wrangling a panda to serve as your team captain. You'll use your soccer skills to accomplish certain objectives, such as dribbling your way through a race course, but you don't need to be a soccer superfan to understand and do what needs to be done. Plus, the whole experience has a wonderfully upbeat vibe. It's about trying to restore joy, energy, and freedom to a world that a corporation and its "referees" want to choke with rules and control. And, refreshingly, it's all done without any violence or scariness. Soccer Story may ostensibly be about the world's love of a particular sport, but spend an hour with it and you'll find there's a bit more to it than just that.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.