Quizball Goal – The PS3 Attitude Review
Whether you call it football, soccer or fútbol there’s no denying it’s place as the most popular game on Earth. Americans have their baseball and Australians their rugby but neither can touch the vastness of The World’s Game.
With that in mind Swedish developer Pixel Tales brings Quizball Goal to the PSN. Does the mixture of arcade sensibilities and trivia make for a good outing on the pitch?
The aim of Quizball Goal (QBG), like any good footy game, is to win the match. Two national teams square off on the pitch for either a friendly or World Cup match.
The twist, and more precisely the trivia, plays into the match upon any and all interactions between opposing players such as a shot on goal, a potential tackle or saving the aforementioned shot on goal. These interactions prompt multiple-choice trivia questions which dictate the outcome of that interaction. For example if player one takes a shot on goal a trivia question appears to determine the outcome of that shot, if player one then answers correctly first then they will score. Alternatively if player two answers correctly first their goaltender will make the save. Questions range from very easy (What can goalkeepers use that other players can’t?) to stark-raving obscure (What was the name of the Cleveland Stokers goalkeeper who died while in training in 1968)?
Taking the field are teams of 6 nation-specific caricatures from 8 major countries (sorry Cameroon). In true arcade style power-ups litter the field pickup and opportune use. Nothing quite gets one past the defense like a bolt of lightning. Are you listening team USA?
The strength of Quizball Goal is unquestionably its simplicity however its low barrier of entry turned me off as straightforward gameplay quickly gave way to uncreative monotony.
The arcade-style presentation in QBG is more than just presentable with varied character models and stadiums, however movements often feel as though they are taking place somewhere in the Mariana Trench. Compared to the nimble, free-flowing nature so often characterized with high-level football, the gameplay featured in QBG appears closer to emulating a different sport altogether.
Although the number of input options available in a game are not directly related to its enjoyment Quizball Goal ultimately feels a bit hollow in the football sim department as well, arcade or not. Outside of shooting, passing and alternating players the actual football portion is severely lacking. Pitch play unfortunately takes a back seat to the trivia aspect when it could have potentially be much more. The addition of mini games and/or quick-time events on inconsequential interactions such as fighting for a ball or tackling would have gone a long way toward sprucing up the dull gameplay.
The most egregious indictment of Quizball Goal, and any game for that matter, is that it just isn’t much fun. After a couple of matches there’s hardly any motivation to return. Football aficionados will find that the trivia questions are formidable but that’s the only reason to play. Essentially there’s not much that the game does that a solid board game or set of trivia cards doesn’t.
The mundane nature of the game is perhaps best captured in the halfhearted celebration that commences upon victory in the World Cup final. Aside from a box of text and a small celebration on the field you’d never know you’d won the most prestigious prize in sports.
Knowing how much work goes into making a game I don’t make criticisms haphazardly but QBG disappointed in just about every aspect outside of the trivia questions. Having spent ample time with it there just isn’t much of a reason for anyone to jump at the opportunity to download Quizball Goal, especially given the fact that it carries an exaggerated £7.99 price tag. Football trivia fans should be advised to pick this up instead.