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iOS App Review: 'Pele: King of Football'

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Pele: King of Football on iOS

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The FIFA World Cup in Brazil is ready to get underway, and soccer fever will soon spread around the world.

Whenever a major world event is capturing a big audience, app developers are always looking to capitalize on a large, interested audience. The World Cup is no different, and the recently released Pele: King of Football on iOS is looking to market the host country’s biggest icon.

Pele: King of Football is an arcade-style game that challenges users to score goals from the dirt lots in Brazil to the massive stadiums in the World Cup — all in the name of the greatest soccer player of all time — Pele.

The user is put in several different positions on the field and faced with the task of shooting — either with a traditional strike or a header — on a goalkeeper and sometimes a few defenders.

The swipe-to-shoot mechanism is simple, but not easy to master. Users will need to get several reps before perfecting the stroke, as shots tend to sail over the crossbar or wide if the swipe is a little too quick.

Alongside the tricky shot physics, the goalkeeper and defenders get smarter as the game progresses and knocking home a goal becomes extremely challenging in the later levels.

The best way to navigate the defenders and goalkeeper is to use the unique power-ups, such as freezing the defenders, turning the ball into a mass of fire, shooting three balls at once and basically turning the ball into a magnet seeking the goal, but those will all eventually cost money.

And therein lies an annoying problem with this title — and several other new mobile games — users not only have to “pay-to-win,” they have to pay to even have a chance.

Pele: King of Football offers excellent graphics and sprinkles in fun facts about Pele throughout the game, so even dedicated soccer fans might learn a few things about the legendary Brazilian along the way. However, slow loading times, the pay-to-win model and the occasional “Lost Connection” error message can really put a damper on the experience.

Overall, Pele: King of Football has some replay value, but people looking for an actual soccer simulation game should go directly to the real “King of Football” games — FIFA 14.

— Grant will be taking a look at soccer games on iOS throughout the World Cup. So, check back and get your soccer fix when you aren’t watching the great match-ups.

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