Publisher: I-Imagine Interactive
Developer: RTL Sports
Release date: Available now
I should preface this review by pointing out that, more than most games I review, I am not part of the target market for this game. Even compared to the games made for girls aged 9-12, of which I’ve reviewed many. I know so little about soccer, it is literally impossible for me to participate meaningfully in this game. Watching soccer, to me, is a very small step up from watching long distance running on TV.
With that in mind, I think Football Genius is a well put-together trivia game. You can play up to four players on your console or online, and the format is pretty much that the first person to punch in the answer wins. In every mode, there is a timer that not only limits your time to answer, but awards or removes additional points based on how quickly you answer. This adds an interesting element to the game, particularly when you’re called on to identify a player or team from a blurry picture that gradually becomes clearer by giving you a reward for “gambling” a bit when you’re not quite sure of the answer.
There are several rounds with different modes of question to answer. First is “kickoff,” the most typical trivia type, based solely on answering multiple choice questions. Next, the “onside” round simply displays two choices that remain static for the entire round while different facts are displayed on the screen. Players choose whichever option is described by the fact displayed. In another round, the pictures of soccer players or coaches are placed on various points around a rotating soccer ball, and players need to buzz in when the named player is centered on the screen. In another round, “Get the Picture,” blurry or distorted pictures are displayed on the screen and players must identify what or who is displayed as the image becomes clearer. Finally, in yet another round, a box lists facts describing a team, player, or coach. More facts are displayed as the timer counts down, and players try to answer as quickly as possible.
The interface is sleek, well designed, and intuitive. Obviously the demands of a trivia game don’t amount to what I’d call “graphics,” but the game is nice enough to look at. The music and sound effects are pretty standard as well, adding a sort of TV gameshow tension to the mix. There’s nothing all that innovative or engaging going on, but it does what sound in a game like this should do, which is inform you of when to pay attention and when you’ve done something right or wrong.
As for a fun factor, it’s hard to tell. My girlfriend and I had an interesting enough time trying to look up answers on google before the timer counted down, but that got old fast. To actually play this game, you either really have to know soccer or learn about soccer by playing the game over and over again. That said, I’m sure my soccer-trivia-buff friends would enjoy the game: that is, if they ever played video games.
Overall, the quality of this game really depends on your level of interest in soccer, and more specifically, soccer trivia. If you don’t really know your stuff when it comes to soccer, this game is going to bore you. On the other hand, if you’re one who likes to show off his sports knowledge, this game is as good an opportunity as you’re going to get. It’s well designed as a trivia game, and could be fun at parties.