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5 games to keep World Cup fever alive

Andrew Hayward | July 14, 2014
Well, the World Cup is over--time to stop thinking about soccer for another four years, right? It's a sensation that many of us are no doubt familiar with. We get swept up in the excitement of the tourney, but when that golden trophy is handed out and your Twitter pals stop sharing second-by-second updates, most of us aren't then rooting for our local Major League Soccer squads or following Cup heroes back to their international club teams.

Granted, if you're seeking a methodical simulation, this definitely isn't it — but it is a lot of fun, and the great pixel graphics pack in a lot of personality, even with the limited character designs and backdrops. And on iPad, you can even do head-to-head matches on the same screen, which adds the rare and welcome ability to face off without a second device needed.

Football Manager Handheld 2014

If the appeal of soccer for you comes not from the excitement of each shot, but rather the strategizing and tactics that make the big plays possible, then perhaps Football Manager Handheld 2014 ($9.99, iOS and [Android][]) is more your speed.

Sega's long-running management sim series never lets you take to the pitch yourself, but you'll be able to put your squad in the best position to win by running the entire organization. That means making key substitutions and smart player transfers, answering tough media questions, and analyzing data to learn from past strategic mistakes. It's all menus, and not for the casual observer who simply wants to kick the ball around, but it offers serious depth for stat junkies.

Flick Kick Football Legends

With a narrative hook, cartoonish '70s aesthetic, and first-person gameplay, Flick Kick Football Legends (free for iOS and Android) feels distinctive from everything else out there, challenging you to return a faded club to prominence after the untimely (and explosive) death of its legendary coach.

Unlike the original Flick Kick Football, which simply offered a series of penalty kicks to undertake, Legends puts you into every play — whether it's taking a shot, passing the ball, or sliding to steal from an opponent. Well-timed and smartly curved swipes are needed for success on the pitch, and while the gameplay is rather simple, the amusing tone and colorful look keep things fresh for a while.


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