Thanks for reading! If you enjoy this article consider subscribing to our newsletter for a chance to win a $10 eshop gift card every week!
Super Arcade Football is a simplified, indie version of the most popular sport in the world. In America and Japan, it is soccer, but everywhere else, it is called football! Last year, I reviewed Super Sports Blast, and I had a good time with it. Super Arcade Football is a tiny game that packs a decent punch, and it is significantly cheaper than Super Sports Blast (Although that is 3 different sports combined).
So is this the ultimate indie football experience? Or is this just another forgettable attempt at simplifying the popular sport? Let’s find out!
To my surprise, Super Arcade Football actually has a little story. Martin, a local fan of Balarm F.C. (Football Club), finds out that the stadium is closing down, so he waltzes in and runs into the “famous” manager Old Joe. Joe proceeds to tell Martin that the club is done, they have no money, and that the rival team is planning to buy the stadium to turn it into a leisure center for their overpaid players. This motivates Martin to do something, and he eventually buys the team from Old Joe for £1 ($1.37 USD), since Old Joe has given up already.
Martin is now the owner and manager of Balarm F.C., and it is up to him to save the football club and ultimately take down their rivals. But in order to do that, the team has to build back up and make its way up the ranks. This is where the actual gameplay begins.
Honestly, this is a nice little way to help us care about the team, and I did not expect any story at all. This is a great effort that puts you in the shoes of a new manager of a football club to help them return to their former glory. The way the story continues to develop is lovely, and this was the most surprising area of the game for me.
Gameplay-wise, Super Arcade Football is a very simple football/soccer simulation. In single player, you take control of players closest to the ball, and both defense and offense offer their own fun and easy controls.
The matches themselves run at 3, 5, and 10 minutes depending on the settings, and the story mode defaults to 3 minutes to help you progress quickly. I personally recommend 3 minutes, as Super Arcade Football is at its best in short bursts. The longer a match goes, the more ridiculous things tend to get, as goal-scoring is not the most difficult and numbers can get outrageous in a 10-minute game.
The entire game can be played with the left joystick and A-button, as A controls all of the following: passing, shooting, and slide tackling. The longer you hold down A, the stronger the move, and interestingly, shots can be taken from far away and score regularly. I found this to be a bit disappointing, because low-effort attempts tend to outdo high-effort attempts 3-1 on average. What I mean is that taking a long, wild shot from the outside has a much higher chance of scoring than an excellently planned pass-play.
A really fun area of the game are the customizations. There are tons of teams, both men and women, which is a joy. Matches can be played both indoor and outdoor, and a winter option makes the field icy and slippery. On top of that, weather, time, score limit, and how the match ends can all be edited as well. Finally, the modifiers menu makes matches even more unique and extra fun, like turning off fouls and injuries to adding sleepy goal keepers and falling meteorites. This may be the area of the game that is the most entertaining, because it keeps players coming back for more!
As far as modes go, Super Arcade Football offers the aforementioned Story mode, but there is also quick match, tournaments, and even online. All local options allow for up to 4 players to join, which makes this an excellent party game, thanks especially to the modifiers. Tournament is quite the deep mode, with lots of options and ideas. Playing this alone or with friends is a lot of fun! Online is available and works well, but you will need some friends to play with because the online community is sadly nonexistent.
Graphically, the game is adorable! This is a nice pixelated football/soccer title that looks and feels very much like a SNES title. Some times, though, the color palettes are hard to differentiate between teams, but thankfully this is a rare occurrence.
When all is said and done, Super Arcade Football is a lovely sports title that offers an incredible amount for the asking price. Story mode is a breath of fresh air among the indie sports titles out there, and the amount of options available to you, the player, is incredible.
The online community may be dead and low-effort shots may control all of the games, but everything else about Super Arcade Football is wonderful! This is one of the best affordable football/soccer titles on the market, and if you are a fan of the sport, this will be a hilariously fun time with your mates during hangout.
Super Arcade Football Switch Review provided by Nintendo Link
Review also found on OpenCritic
Release Date: September 19th, 2021
Price: $9.99, £9.99, €9,99
Game Size: 41 MB
Fun story mode
Tons of options, modes, and modifiers
Adorable pixelated graphics
Low-effort shots > high-effort shots
Online community is pretty dead (No fault to the game)
What's Your Reaction?
My name is Jason Capp. I am a husband, father, son, and brother, and I am a gamer, a writer, and a wannabe pro wrestler. It is hard to erase the smile on this simple man.