Foosball 2012 – or in other words table football – has always remained an enjoyable sport when played in small bursts, therefore making it an ideal candidate for a handheld platform. Pleasingly, indie developer Grip Games has included several modes here that will keep you hooked for a long time.
Gameplay is very simple but the controls can seem very complex when you first start taking part in matches. As such, it’s recommend to do the tutorial first, as it gives you a chance to try out each different trick shot and pit them against a simple AI opponent to help you master them. You can also get to grips with the basics here too, though it’ll be a while before you can actually utilize some of the more advanced stuff you get to try out in the tutorial. As mentioned the controls are a breeze; hit the left analog stick up or down to move your players, and shoot using the right analog stick aiming the ball in the direction the stick points towards (or if you would prefer, you can use the touchscreen to aim and shoot with instead, and block by using the L and R button.
Though the game has no stand out feature, there are a decent amount of modes on offer; the world tour mode in particular will take you some time to complete as it gets progressively more difficult, albeit at a decent pace. Online play is included too but due to lack of players I was unable to try this feature out. Elsewhere, Foosball 2012 also features a quick play option for those who just want a nice quick match, in which you can tweak various options including how many balls you get or how many you need to score to win for the match — though you cannot pick a nation to play against, which is rather strange. Players can eventually unlock new tricks such as Tic-Tac shot, which has you pressing the triangle button to pass the ball between the teammates on the same pole back and forth, eventually shooting forward and hopefully confusing the rival team.
These extra tricks are all unlocked by using stars you obtain from world tour or from purchasing them from the PSN store. In addition, you can purchase new bonus levels for world tour, though you can also earn them free in game if you wish also; however, this will likely prove difficult for inexperienced players as you need to get a perfect on every normal world tour match including the advance matches. You can also customize your team via some limited choices, though these options increase the more you play the world tour mode and automatically unlock new player styles. You can also unlock more tables and different styles of ball ranging from the bog standard variety to the fireball.
Overall, after spending countless hours playing this game, I’d definitely recommend it. Foosball 2012 is a decent sized offering with plenty of options available to ensure you’ll be kept busy for a good while. While I had some issues with the soundtrack – as the music can get overly repetitive at the best of times – the graphics are pretty good for a handheld, with the plastic models and environments looking quite impressive during the replays. Best of all, if you purchase the PlayStation 3 version of the game you get the PlayStation Vita version for free, and as it has cross-save support you can keep playing and earning Trophies on the go and automatically resume when you get home.