Qoccer can be described as "the turn-based cube soccer simulator".In Qoccer, players are cubic and movement is realistic but set during each player turn. Games can be played against the CPU or another human. Over grass or ice.Weird, different, fun, perfectly art directed for the gameplay.

Victor Ortega's Qoccer is a cute, turn-based take on soccer (football) featuring two teams of three cuboid players launching themselves all over a field trying to knock a soccer ball into the opposing goal. It's a different take on turn-based soccer, owing more to tabletop electric football games than to Tecmo Cup Soccer Game, a turn-based RPG based on soccer. Qoccer players lack feet to run around or kick the ball and must instead throw their entire body in order to move the ball or block an opposing player. It makes for a unique take on soccer and a pretty fun one at that.

In a single player game, the player sets up his or her players and then presses the A button to watch the result against the CPU's moves. In two-player mode, the players take turns planning their movements, switching who goes first after each round. The players can aim the direction they want to move along with the angle and force they want to travel. It's necessary to keep the players low to the ground for ball handling, but lengthy cross field leaps are possible and necessary when needing to make up ground quickly on defense. The physics engine is great, and instructions during the 30-seconds planning segments roll out just as anticipated once the player understands the strength indicated by the arrow's size. The game continues on like this until a team scores two goals. Qoccer is a very simple game, but it's solidly build and that is part of its appeal.

I do wish it weren't quite so simple, however, because as terrific a little physics diorama Qoccer is, there's not a lot of options here to extend length beyond constant exhibition styled matches. The game defaults to a 3-on-3 game, but 3-on-1 and 1-on-1 are possible but unlikely to be used as 3-on-1 is just unfair while 1-on-1 diminishes the teamwork strategy the game functions at best. There is no tournament to speak about nor way to increase to amount of goals necessary to win. Out of bounds rules only apply to full teams, I suppose because a team consisting of a single player would have no one to throw in to, and the game lacks penalty kicks as there is no timer and thus zero chance for a tie to be looking to break one. The sole way to vary the gameplay is found by playing on the ice surface which is obviously more slippery than grass. With how simplistic Qoccer is, it's only going to find consistent play if the user has someone local to challenge, and even then there's not a whole lot here to keep people coming back to it. Qoccer is very much a novelty game, and even interest in on-line play (if it existed) with each person controller one cuboid player probably wouldn't last long due to the lack of depth.

Qoccer's graphics are excellent, and the field and goals are solid. I love how the little players tumble around convincingly, and the stadium, HUD, and control overlays all look great. Although there's no animation whatsoever, the game is fluid, busy and interesting to watch, and doesn't suffer at all from its absence. Starting up a game is as fast as it should be -- select the number of players, set the field, and pick one of a dozen different uniforms available. One doesn't have to be a sports fan to give Qoccer a try; it's a simple arcade game which excels at its narrowly focused goal. Thankfully, it's tough to complain much about the lack of options when the game looks and plays this good for only a dollar. Even if Qoccer is essentially a mini-game built in a small physics laboratory, the style and fun are more than enough to at least garner a look.

August 1, 2010
March 30, 2010 | 80 points
Developer | Video | Download

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