Deadball Specialist is a fantastic iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad app game. Maybe it’s the World Cup spirit in the air, because I am not usually a fan of sports game apps, but this game is addictive. I find myself playing the game for hours on end. My forearms are sore and my fingers are aching and I still can’t stop playing. Specialist is a soccer ball kicking game; you use your finger to “kick” the ball into the net.
When you start the game you are prompted with an invitation to use OpenFeint, which allows the app to upload your scores online. The way the game works is that you are set up with shots to take that vary in distance and angle from the net. To add to the challenge, in each shot there is a bullseye set up that you have to aim for. It takes a minute to get acquainted with the shooting. You can add topspin, backspin, and curl to your shot simply by using the ring that is positioned around the ball. You also have the option to disable the tilt or invert the swerve of the ball. The faster you flick the ball the further it goes.
You have two options once you start playing, Challenge or Quickfire. If you choose challenge you start off on the trainee level and you are given 5 shots to take, which, depending on your scores, will determine whether you move to the next round, Semi Pro. During the Semi Pro round the challenge is intensified with the introduction of players who block your shot. There are 3 levels above Semi Pro called, Professional, World Class, and Superstar. The higher levels have more difficult shots and the wall of players blocking those shots grows. Even if you advance to Superstar level, you can still go down to Semi Pro and try to rack up the high scores. In order to advance through the challenges, you need to get either a Gold, which takes 25,000 points, a Silver, which takes 20,000, or a Bronze Medal, if you can get 15,000 points. You need at least a Bronze to advance to the next level. If you decide to play Quickfire instead, you get 60 seconds to score as many goals as you can, once you score the first shot it moves you around so you are given a wide variety of different shots to aim for.
The challenges and scoring are set up so brilliantly in this game that the player has no choice but to continue playing and it only costs $0.99. You play the rounds with one thing on repeat in your mind: The next time I’ll do better. 4 hours later, just when you are about to give up, you will have some ridiculously large score that will boost your morale and keep you in the game!
Note: This is not a universal app so the iPad version sells under the name Deadball Specialist HD ($0.99).
Here is a video demo of the Deadball Specialist app on the iPhone
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