Hooligans: The Bravest review - a world where football is banned
£1.99; Black Sheep; iOS
It seems rather cynical to launch a game about beered-up football hooligans in the midst of a World Cup, especially when this year's tournament has been yob-free and football is keen to distance itself from such shenanigans.
But without wishing to take any moral high-ground, if you accept this battle arena action game for what it is - an old-style, side-scrolling beam-em-up by a group of talented indie developers – there is much fun to be had. Although it is hardly innovative, there are signs of ingenuity.
With the military having outlawed football, a group of hooligans are intent of seizing it back for the people. You are the leader of this group. You can use beer to recruit shaven-headed crew members who you can call to assist you should the action get a little hairy. You can stun the riot cops sent to stop your gang in its path by downing a drink and belching out a foul green-tinged burp.
There are various power-ups to be had and some neat, take-all moves such as a large Monty Python-esque fist pumping down from the top of the screen.
And yet, the more you progress, the more tiresome the game becomes. The animations are repetitive and the basic tap mechanics rather stale. It does have frenetic action and cartoon-like visuals which makes the grim-faced, crowbar-wielding anti-hero appear more approachable than he otherwise would have been. At the same time, though, he looks distinctly bored, his mouth constantly chomping like Ricky Gervais' comic character Derek which starts to irritate after a while.
Although there is a hint of strategy in terms of capturing shelters and there are boss battles, it was a struggle to keep up interest in the long-term but as a casual game, dipping in and out for some stress-relieving fun, it takes a brave person to resist it entirely.
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