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I was quite happy to see one of the great game developers get involved in Facebook games and with cooperation with one of the in my opinion best game developers on Facebook at the time. With EA games and Playfish one could only expect a game with great potential and on a higher level than other Facebook games. It was launched in the middle of the World cup so even I'm not exactly a football fan I installed it. And then came the disappointment, my high expectations were shattered. It is basically a click and wait game. You are given a 'match credit' every six hours (up to 4 credits) which you use to play matches against other football clubs - in different leagues. How do you play a match? You click play button and that is it! You can then choose to watch the animation (which gets repetitive and I promise you you will not want to watch it twice) or thankfully skip it - tadaah you get the result. Result is determined by your skill (average skill of your players - you get them by purchasing random packs of 5 players so don't dream of signing Ronaldo anytime soon, its all luck), your training (you get training points by training your team - by clicking train button and choosing the time period yawn, if you don't train you will loose training points) and luck, the later being the most important from my experience, which kind off kills the fun. There you have it that's all the game-play there is, well you can 'decorate' your stadium with a few training aids'. Goal of the game is probably to become as good as you can and beat all the leagues that are given (they will be adding them regularly) with free match credits (attainable by waiting 6 hours per credit or playing with your friends once a day - max 3 extra credits) this alone will take ages. You can also purchase match credits with your real life cash but for a game like this I would not go there. Not all is black though, the game does have great flash graphic and pretty good music. I recommend it only to those that need finger exercise since this will add about 50 clicks per day to your routine and for those who like collecting things, since getting the right team together requires collectors nerves and patience - since for top rated players it will take days to get enough coins to purchase them (without reaching in your own wallet)
FIFA Superstars is EA Sports's first game released as a Facebook application, and is free to download and play from the Facebook website. Despite offering an interesting gameplay idea, in practice this game is a chore to play and way too drawn out. More annoyingly still, you need deep pockets to succeed in this 'free game'. Firstly, I'll briefly describe the game to those who have no prior knowledge of it. FIFA Superstars is a 'trading card' game, in the sense that you collect cards representing different football players from across the world and create a team from them. You can substitute and sell players, and then purchase new ones in 'packs' via the store screen. In this way, and in its theory as a game, it is the free cousin of the Ultimate Team mode available for FIFA 10. Its main arc is to create your ultimate team by winning competitions, earning cash and then purchasing better players as you go along to rise up the rankings and have a team to be proud with at the end. Presentation The game looks very slick, as you'd expect from a FIFA game on any platform. The home menu is incredibly clear and easy-to-use, with high definition icons showing the players you have purchased in your preferred formation. An easy-to-operate menu hugs the left of the application and is pretty self-explanatory, with options like store, training and play. You can create your own club crest from a very limited set of options given to you and can name your team as you please. Your 'reputation' level sits underneath the crest, while to the centre of the app is the current competition you're in and coins earned. To the right sit the match credits left, team rating and training rating. Clicking a little spanner icon brings up the ability to mute the app or turn off effects. On the manage screen, you can highlight the cards of your team and learn more about where the players are from, including their attributes. You can change your formation and sub people on and off. Gameplay Sadly, I was left bitterly disappointed on the gaming side of affairs. First of all, you can't play the games yourself, but instead you see it simulated or can skip it altogether. This is to be expected for a free app though, so this can be forgiven. However, the game model co-created by EA Sports and Playfish intends to make the game a cash cow, and makes no illusions about the cost of success from the very beginning. I'll start with the match credits system. If you want to play games, you must have these credits first. You are given around 3 at the start and one is used up in every game you play. This is one of the downfalls of the game, especially for those without deep pockets. Find yourself without credits and you can't play. How do you earn more I hear you cry? You can wait 6 HOURS to be given another couple for free or you can buy them (surprise, surprise) via Playfish cash on credit card. The result of this system for someone like me looking for a fun, free game to play on Facebook is that once you start the app, you're on for ten minutes simming the games then have to get off and wait hours if you want to play again. This is literally the worst system I have seen implemented in a game like this and it's ludicrous for the developers to say it's free when it clearly isn't meant to be. Then comes the training mode, arguably just as annoying as the credits system. If you want to have any chance of beating any of the teams in the tournament, you have to select a training option. If you pick the one which is most effective, it'll take between 12 and 24 HOURS (yes, HOURS) for your team to reach an adequate stage. What's more, if you forget to make them train after every game, they LOSE fitness. This is actually ridiculous, as going in to the game inevitably leads to you clicking a training option, turning it off, waiting 'til the next day, using match credits up, then leaving the game AGAIN for these to recuperate! Just when you think it can't get worse, the coins you receive per match are meagre to say the least. A pack of bronze players costs 10,000 coins and you receive around 700 per game, so you'll be waiting a fair while to even get good enough players to win a game in the first place. The tournaments themselves are completely randomised. The result? Your team which has better fitness and better ability than the opposition can inexplicably lose, losing you credits, larger amounts of coins and fitness. The game always seems to put the odds against you, and it simply isn't fun to play. Finally, in this trading card game, you can't yet trade. Enough said. Summary Avoid at all costs. If you like wasting your time on apps which preach that they're free but make it insanely easier for those with deep pockets to succeed, then play on. The fitness mode is a joke, the match credits system is laughable and even when you rise above these obstacles the game is no fun to play, with waiting taking longer than actually playing. Simply awful.