Pocket League Story
Transform a ragtag group of players into champs, Kairosoft style.
There's something wonderfully naive about Kairosoft's heroic stab at football management. They've probably never heard of Kevin Toms, and the mention of the Collyer brothers likely elicits an incoherent mumble.
For once, Pocket League Story feels like it's unfettered by expectations to be the next Football Manager, and it's all the more enjoyable because of it.
Instead of getting mired in a desire to be authentic, Kairosoft opts for its usual pixel-art style and starts you right at the bottom of the pile. With little more than a squad of hopeless cloggers and a local park pitch to play on, you have to prove yourself against even more hopeless teams before the powers that be will allow you in a league of any description.
But in true Kairosoft style, you gradually build yourself up, acquiring new facilities, pitching for sponsorship and signing slightly less useless new players. When it comes to the match day action, there's little for you to do other than change your formation and decide whether to play offensively, normally or defensively. You can't even bring subs on.
The match highlights are adorably terrible, but because they're Kairosoft sprites out there shuffling around, it's OK. A little personality goes a long way.
Thanks to this you build an attachment to your gang of losers, and the desire to see them go out there and climb the league ladder is disproportionately strong. It's also not terrifically hard to win, so the game gives you a daft sense of achievement for not really doing a great deal.
The carrot-and-stick approach keeps you coming back to improve your facilities, put on fan activities, train your star players and occasionally buy new players to strengthen the squad.
As a serious football management game, Pocket League Story fails, objectively, on pretty much every level, which is precisely what makes Kairosoft's retro football fantasy so adorable. Even if you'd rather eat your own face than play a football management game, there's a pretty good chance you'll love Pocket League Story.
Used under license from Eurogamer.
What's Hot: Cute 2D characters, user-friendly management system, very addictive.
What's Not: Extremely limited compared to the competition.