Football Academy

By on April 2, 2009

The easiest way to improve your football IQ.


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First Impressions
My reaction is

After playing   every football related video game this year, it was about time I got my hands on something made with the young kids on mind. Taking full use of its load of licences, EA Sports brings us Football Academy on the Nintendo DS, a game that is targeting the young eat/drink/sleep football generation. To make things even better, ex Chelsea manager, Luiz Felipe Scolari is featured in this game. He will be guiding you throughout with tips and successful strategies. Too bad he couldn’t do the same at Chelsea!

It is clear from the cover of this game that every hardcore sport gamer should stay away from it. The cartoonish looks of Scolari on the cover should get you into the right mindset from the get go. The difficulty level as well varies but still hovers around the pretty easy platform. Yes you might suck at guessing the logo of some clubs, but we don’t believe many people will care. Problem here is how varied the levels of difficulty are. Guessing a club logo is actually fun and so is the memory game. But trying to guess where the team plays on a map can get pretty frustrating! Young football fans will surely appreciate this game however. They will enjoy watching their favourite players going at in practice.

The game is basically a football school. You test your skills, IQ, enter your team name and play a set of mini games. After getting you first players starter pack, you can even play football matches. The game features a card based gameplay engine, where each player on the field is pitted against the other based on the situation. Depending on how risky the move or shot is, it will either go through or fail. This is how every match will go basically. The better the players you have, the higher there rankings and the easier it is for you to win.

Presentation wise the game is pretty neat. Scolari will tell you everything you need to know and then some. The dialogue and navigation of the menus might seem a little confusing and hard at first, but after a few clicks you will master both with ease. During football matches the controls are easy and simple too. The tactics screen is as straightforward as it gets, so do not expect any complicated Football Manager like tactics screen. You can tell your team to push hard on offence for example or pass the ball through the middle of the field but that’s about it.

One thing we loved about this game is that it’s actually deep. It is not just a rip-off using famous teams and players to sell and attract gamers. There is a load of mini games for you to play. You also have to consider many factors and situations during football matches. Stuff like where to play your star, which formation to use, which players to start and so on.  The game even happens to feature a multiplayer mode. If you have a friend that owns this game you can compete against each other at anytime. You can even trade players if you wish, but under some restrictions however. Sadly, no online features exist. That is straight out disappointing based on the fact that almost every other EA Sports DS game features online multiplayer modes. A game like this could have benefited greatly from online interactions.

Do not throw away your Football Manager disk just yet, this game is not to be compared with that. It is certainly not a hardcore manager game with very little attention paid to details. You will enjoy this game if you just want to pass sometime playing football related mini games, or if you are below 12 years old. Other gamers will struggle trying to enjoy Football Academy, since it is clearly targeting a specific segment of gamers.

The Scorecard
Many things for you to do, some are fun and some are not!
Decent menus and players pictures.
Music in the background is a bit weird, match sound effects are nothing special.
Many mini games for you to try out. Sadly some are not all that interesting.
Scolari’s English is not as bad as we thought it is!
A decent effort that deserves some attention from football loving DS owners.


I love my Sports games. Throw me on an Island with the newest FIFA, Football Manager and NBA 2K and i will live forever. Follow me on Twitter (@RabieA11) for updates or on the PSN and XBL (Rabie1).

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