Head Ball 2

App review by
Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media
Head Ball 2 App Poster Image
Bobble-head soccer game focuses on ads more than goals.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

Simple controls to play, but success requires good reflexes.

Violence & Scariness

Player characters can head-butt each other and display angry emojis.

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

Lots of in-app store promotion, along with frequent auto-play ads and optional "watch for reward" ads.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Head Ball 2 is a freemium arcade-style soccer game for iOS and Android devices. The game contains lots of ads and in-app purchases. Players can pay $8.99 to remove ads, and are encouraged to spend real money on player/power/accessory packs. They're also encouraged to connect the app to their Facebook accounts and subscribe to the app's Twitter, YouTube channel, and Instagram in exchange for in-game currency. Players can create and join online teams and communicate with team members via in-game chat. With the exception of head-butting other characters or displaying angry emojis, there's no inappropriate content to be found in the game. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

HEAD BALL 2 is a free-to-play competitive arcade-style soccer game that simplifies things by putting only two players (one from each team) on the field. This removes the traditional notion of strategy but replaces it with upgradeable "super powers" that players can buy with gold they earn by playing. These powers -- anything from freezing your opponent in a block of ice to making your player character huge -- give players an unexpected edge by creating unexpected challenges on the playing field. Players gain currency and "fans" by winning and can use their victories to boost their league status and climb the online ranks.

Is it any good?

This odd little app is more "pong with creepy bobble heads" than what we call soccer, but it's fun nevertheless -- as long as you look past its flood of ads. By removing all of soccer's field maneuvers, Head Ball 2 boils things down to the game's most exciting part: scoring goals. Simple button controls help you move an oversized head with a single cleat-clad foot around the field. The controls take some getting used to, especially since your player can appear on either side of the screen. But once you get the hang of the controls, scoring goals is easy.

Or it would be, without the super powers. Super powers add an element of surprise and humor as your controls suddenly work backward or the ball bursts into flame. Obviously, players with more super powers have an advantage, and getting these powers means lots of play time and optional ad-watching. This gets tiresome, especially when you've watched the same three ads more than a few times. Also tiresome is the unreliable matchmaking. Often, it's hard to find an opponent to play, and when you do, it feels as if your opponent could be computer controlled. Still, even with these issues, Head Ball 2 is fun in a weird kind of way and a decent download if you've got a hankering to score some goals.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about different kinds of sports games. Do you prefer arcade-style sports games or more realistic ones?

  • Are you willing to "pay to win" for a game app? Are there things that Head Ball 2 could do to level the playing field for gamers that don't pay for a competitive edge?

App details

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For kids who love sports

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