Stickman Soccer 2014

App review by
Chris Morris, Common Sense Media
Stickman Soccer 2014 App Poster Image
So-so soccer game looks to capitalize on World Cup fever.

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A lot or a little?

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

Ease of Play

Should you choose to take a more-active role in play, using a virtual joystick and two buttons, the game's controls can be confusing and slow to react to player commands. An alternate mode, wherein players control only passing and shooting, is easier but removes them from a big part of the game. 

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

Players can pay $2 to remove the ads from the game and unlock all levels. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know Stickman Soccer 2014 is a sports game using the generic stick-figure heroes of several other sports games. It's a fairly faithful simulation of the real sport but through a cartoonish filter. There's no violence or sex, but the game does force you to watch ads (sometimes commercials) for other games, and it isn't easy to learn. True fans may enjoy it, but casual soccer fans -- or people who are simply caught up in the World Cup -- probably won't have as much fun. 

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What's it about?

Players can play via one of two methods. The game's default has them use a virtual joystick along with two buttons, whose usage changes depending on whether you have the ball or not. Should that prove unsatisfactory, players can choose an automatic mode, wherein they control shooting and passing, but the on-screen team moves on its own. As you win more matches (or watch more ads), you'll unlock new seasons and tournament types, which deviate from standard soccer rules. This also will unlock beach and street soccer modes as well as a penalty-kick mini-game.

Is it any good?

Soccer may have an enormous fan base throughout the world, but only the most die-hard fans of the sport will find much to love with STICKMAN SOCCER 2014. The game's not terrible, but it suffers from two sets of poor controls, which frustrate the user in different ways. The virtual joystick isn't reactive enough and -- as several other apps have shown -- isn't the ideal way to control players on-screen. The automatic mode, though, reduces the player to spectator too often, especially on defensive plays. 

The characters are cute at first but soon become a collection of on-screen blurs, largely indistinguishable from each other -- and it's hard to care who wins. The alternate game modes are fun, but accessing them requires players to slog through some not entirely fun gameplay and to watch some intrusive ads. World Cup fever might be encouraging interest in soccer, but this game won't maintain that attention. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the importance of getting outside and exercising. 

  • Families also can talk about teamwork -- and working together toward a common goal. 

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
  • Price: $.99 (with in-app purchases)
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Release date: June 4, 2014
  • Category: Sports
  • Size: 43.00 MB
  • Publisher: Robert Szeleney
  • Version: 1.0
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 5.0 or later; Android 2.2 and up

For kids who love sports

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