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Spotflick Review: Great Idea, Poor Execution

Starting June 11, 2010 the FIFA World Cup will begin in South Africa. Because of that highly anticipated event, we can predict a litany of soccer/football apps to hit the market trying to capitalize on its popularity. Beating the crowd to the starting gate comes Spotflick by Spotflick Ltd, is a game designed to pit you against the greatest goalkeepers in the world in a shoot out. With its “flick to kick” game play and short bursts of play time, this is not your typical sports game. You can choose to play as your favorite country and try to beat the greatest of the great. On June 11th, a promised update will allow you to bring your team to glory in the Spotflick Cup Challenge.

Likes:

Graphics: The graphics in Spotflick are crisp and realistic. Cartoon figures of your favorite world goalkeepers are portrayed in each level. The fans and the realistic scoreboard all add to the atmosphere.

Gameplay: Being able to play short levels of any game is a plus to me on a mobile device. Doesn’t matter how much time you have to play since this is a game that you can play for 1 minute to an hour. The premise is simple and should be addicting.

Dislikes:

Content: With only 20 levels and most of them fairly easy, I beat the game in two short sessions. Though each country’s goalkeeper is unlocked with a win on an earlier level, I breezed right through unlocking them all. Stats for each goalkeeper are included yet their actual actions on a save are each pretty predictable until around level 17. Unfortunately that makes the game tedious in the beginning until you can reach the more challenging levels.

Controls: The flick to kick mechanism is one of the more utilized controls of the system. But in this case it seems unresponsive at times. In Practice Mode I had trouble reaching some of the corner shots. In Arcade Mode it seemed random sometimes when my flick would register. This was particularly annoying when trying to get a bonus – the bonus that you were supposed to hit was off the screen before the ball re-appeared because of the delay in the flick registering. Aim was also off. Combined with the ease of the levels, this felt more like an exercise in randomness than skill.

Spotflick is a game that I really wanted to love since it has a great premise, lends itself to becoming addictive, and has perfect amount of gameplay for short bursts of mobile game time. But ultimately it falls short because of the mechanics of the game. Spotflick by Spotflick Ltd is the first FIFA World Cup game out of the gate and even promises a new Spotflick Challenge mode to be released on June 11th to coincide with the start of the World Cup. The game would have benefitted from a bit more polish on the controls and gameplay however, even if it meant a delay in release. Graphics are cute and realistic in their cartoonish sort of way, but that does not make up for poor controls and lack of challenge. Until the controls are updated and tweaked to be more accurate, Spotflick will remain a good game in concept but a poor game in actualization.

Spotflick by Spotflick Ltd version 1.0 is available for $0.99. It was reviewed on an iPod Touch 2G with OS 3.x.




  1. Spotflick Gaffer on Sunday 23, 2010

    It’s the Gaffer from Spotflick here. I just wanted to respond to this review as it is obviously something of a concern to find out your game has got an ‘Avoid’ rating. As Gaffer I expect nothing less than 110% from my boys and unfortunately, Hope did not agree that we delivered this.

    I appreciate Hope’s honest review and me and my back room staff are currently working on making Spotflick an even better game than we believe it already is based on her comments. Some of the criticisms I feel were borne out of the game’s performance being rather sluggish on the device so we are currently making every effort to optimise the game further to make it perform better on all devices. The testing that we carried out did not raise any of these issues so we are obvioulsy disappointed by the review, but remain confident that the game will work well on most devices, but even better after a few more amendments.

    I still feel that it was a harsh judgement on Spotflick to deal it a big fat ‘Avoid’ as the game does offer a great deal in terms of challenge, gameplay and humour, as well as being great to look at. Even when sluggish the game is still pretty entertaining. I hope that people will still give Spotflick a chance as I still believe that it is the best Penalty Shoot Out game in the App Store, and it will only get better with the launch of the Spotflick Cup mode in a few weeks, as well as the tweaks that we are making to it now.

    Why not go to http://www.spotflick.com and check it out for yourself.

  2. Daniel on Sunday 23, 2010

    Hey Gaffer, I just wanted to say that the artwork looks great, and from reading Hope’s review, it seems like you got one MAJOR thing wrong to set you at a low score. This major thing is more than possible to fix, gladly, as it seems to be performance that is a problem.

    She does mention that the gameplay will work once the controls are ironed out and content is increased. Your World Cup mode is coming out soon, which should add to the content, and all that is really needed is for some performance enhancements.

    Usually developers are shocked and respond quite… aggressively to low scores. I love the way you responded to criticism and hope you can build on it. Your game has huge potential to become one of the best in the App Store, and I don’t doubt in my mind that you and your team will be able to release some updates to make the game better.

    Thanks for taking the time to read the review and comment on it, and again, I believe that it’s very close to being good.

  3. Hope on Sunday 23, 2010

    Hi Gaffer!

    Like Daniel said, thanks for taking the time to read the review and respond so well. I am happy to hear that you listened and will work to fix these issues. If the performance can be improved I do believe you will have a great game and I really am excited to see it improve. It has a lot of potential and I think the concept is very fun.

    Thanks again.

  4. Spotflick Gaffer on Sunday 23, 2010

    The new version of Spotflick is now available on the App Store. The lastest update to game features not only improved performace on all devices, addressing the gameplay issues experienced here, but it also features the Spotflick Cup, which allows players to battle their way through 4 rounds of knock out penalty shoot out action in a bid to lift the Spotflick Cup.

    Why not give Spotflick a try and get yourself ready for the World Cup with some Penalty Flick action!