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Sociable Soccer 24 Review

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Fast Facts

Sociable Soccer 24

Developer: Tower Studios
Publisher: Tower Studios
Genre(s): Arcade, Sport, Simulator
Platform: Steam
Age Rating: PEGI 8
Release Date: 16/11/23
Price: £24.99

A code was provided for review purposes

It’s coming home.

I’m so excited to finally be reviewing this game. It’s been a long and winding road to get this far with Sociable Soccer finally making its release for Steam and PC right now, with console launches set for early 2024. I’m excited to dive in. 

For those Gen Z’s reading this review it’s unlikely you’ll be familiar with the starting point of this journey for Jon Hare and his team. So let me kick this off with an arcade gaming history lesson. 

In 1992 Jon Hare and Chris Yates co-founders of Sensible Software launched Sensible Soccer to the world. It was a top down football game that was fluid and fast paced and had an unrelenting cult following. In fact it still does. For me this game was full of memories of playing on the arcade machine in our local sports club with many 20 pence pieces helping to perfect my technique. 

Fast forward to 1999 and Codemasters acquired Sensible Software and all of its IP with Jon Hare often used to support development of other games under the codemasters name. 

The Next Phase

In 2015 Jon Hare launched a Kickstarter for the newly conceived Sociable Soccer with a dwindling hope that he could modernise and cash in on the nostalgia of Sensible Soccer. It flopped and progress really slowed down. Yet here we are 8 years later, and with Steam Early Access and mobile gaming supporting its funding, Sociable Soccer has arrived. Along with it, a FIFPRO licence, which brings over 10,000 licensed players making it the only FIFPRO licensed arcade football game available today. Mightily impressive for a failed kickstarter!

So diving into the game, theres a nostalgic feel of gameplay, shifting from its top down legacy to a similar telecast camera view I’d liken to Fifa (or EAFC) games. With traditionally arcade like graphics I’d compare it to having the textures of Fifa 15 with the sharpness of Fifa 23. Pleasing yet simple in its design. 

The speed is a little slower than I remember of Sensible Soccer which often felt like you could rapidly pass, pass, pass, pass, work the angle and shoot! Sociable Soccer certainly takes you a little deeper than this. Simple to pick up, but difficult to master. 

There are passes, chips and shots and not a whole lot in between, it’s a simple mechanic to play with. 

A Deeper Experience

There are multiple game modes such as friendlies, world and online PVP on offer. In addition there is a Career mode, that will have you progressing through the leagues with your chosen team unlocking packs and earning stars as a currency to add better players to your squad. 

Similarly to ultimate team this is a little bit of a pay to play mechanic to earn your teams upgrade however, to be completely honest, you really wont need it. 

The Difficulty is massively simplistic, and even set to the most challenging difficulty setting it was pretty easy to win out these games against the AI. You can just march up to the opposition player and pinch the ball from their feet with very little effort, and scoring is easily perfected by getting close and working the angles just like old times. 

There are rumours afoot that difficultly will get a little more challenging over time so I’d expect a few patches and enhancements prior to the console launch next year. 

The World mode is actually quite an impressive addition with 80 Real World Trophies available to compete for and over 1400 teams to choose so it certainly runs a little deeper than I think many would come to expect from an arcade experience. 

The finished product? 

I’m not sure this feels entirely like a finished product, despite its relentlessly addictive gameplay, which ropes me in for “just one more game” there are a few areas which I feel need refinement. The strange throwback styles of manager or referee avatars and names doesn’t really mesh well with its FIFPRO ambitions. I’m not sure if it wants to be taken seriously or not? 

Also the gameplay speed is just significantly slower than I would have expected, feeling like a mobile gaming first experience rather than built for the console first. 

I do however feel that these are areas that can be enhanced and built upon. With such a window of time before we see Sociable Soccer launched across all platforms, and knowing Jon Hare’s dedication to perfect I anticipate we will see constant improvements to build on its history and propel Sociable Soccer to the mainstream of arcade football games. A gap which hasn’t been filled for a very long time. 

Rapid Reviews Rating

3.5 out of 5


You can buy Sociable Soccer on Steam

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