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.