There are loads of great games for the iPad, but there is one category I expected to see a lot more titles in. The local multiplayer experience on an iPad against a friend is one of the most intense experiences there is. I have a few I always keep on my iPad for these occasions: Foosball HD from Illusion Labs and both Tri- Tri- Triobelisk and Shot Shot Shoot from Erik Svedang. In RAMPage Soccer I have a new addition to this slim collection of must have twitch arcade games.
A few basic rules from soccer are all that remains from the actual real life counterpart. You have a ball, and you score by placing it in the opposing goal. Instead of players or goalies you affect the ball by sending out smaller balls. Releasing these at the correct time is key to winning. New balls are added to your pool, and a counter shows how many you can send out. Often I found that sending one out first to strike the main ball with a wave behind it was a good strategy. As the opponent also sends a lot of balls out the game soon turns into a more cautious game of waiting for the right moment to strike. That is if neither player manages to place it in the goal.
The controls are simple, and this is a true strength to the game. Holes beneath the goals show where the balls will emerge. By tapping, or swiping across them you send your balls out. Simple, and really easy to learn. You can play against someone new to the game, and get an even game after just a couple of minutes.
There are two game modes: penalty and soccer. Striking penalties is a good way to learn the ropes, but the real meat of the game is playing soccer against a friend. You can of course play against the AI, but that has really limited appeal. There are only three different levels of difficulty, and single matches. No season, cups or tournament limits game life in single player. Local 2-player multiplayer is the real reason to get RAMPage Soccer.
The presentation is functional, but not much more than that. I would have liked to see more pazazz, more effects and more user customization. At times I even think the soccer connection might limit the appeal to a lot of potential customers. The gameplay could just as well have been implemented in a baseball, hockey or basketball setting. The music, and sound effects are ok. Most of the time it is not that important to hear the sounds when playing against a friend trash talking me.
RAMPage Soccer is one of those local multiplayer games that make me happy to own an iPad. Sitting across a friend gives a close intense gaming experience. Where the multiplayer excels, the single player lets the game down. Too few game modes, and simply not that fun AI makes it lacklustre at best playing the soccer mode. Penalty shootout is decent in single player, and can be fun in short sessions. If you play games against your friends on your iPad this is definitely a title to get.
RAMPage Soccer $2.99
Seller: Ruma Studios