Foot Like A Traction Engine: Kickabout League

Honestly, I dig this.

This is risking being a turn-up for the RPS books. I’m meant to be going to an interview, in a pub. Like – now. But I keep on playing games of this online foot-to-ball game, Kickabout League. Yes! A browser-based foot-to-ball game has got its teeth into me. Now, I’ve only played for a handful of matches, but this really seems to be an appealing, top-down mouse-and-keys esque take on football, cut to the bone. That is, no-throw-ins (There’s an agreeable pinball-esque off-the-wall approach) and lots of GOOOOOOAAALLLLing. I’ve even managed to win some matches, which shows that the learning curve can’t be that steep. You can sign up here or read a few more, interview-going-delaying thoughts below…

It’s also a real PC game. Mouse and keys – aim on mouse, left flick for most stuff, right click for lobs, holding down longer to power up the attack. RPG elements where your characters gain XP which can improve your stats. Management elements where you can buy and sell players, earning money and climbing the leagues. Iffy bits? There appears to be some nasty lag-correction occasionally for me, which I suspect would annoy you if you took it more seriously. The manual switch to players is a little annoying, but I found myself getting used to it worryingly quickly. Also, as a society, teams tend to resign when you get ahead rather than fighting it out. Bloody wimps. At least you get the points and XP for the wins. And that there appears to be some manner of paid-extras in there – the classic way of montiterizing a free-to-play game – will annoy some people.

But really, I was having a lovely time with it just now. The jump from playing the game and passing the ball around in clever moves is pleasingly quick. Five games in, and I’m switching between playing a passing game and just giving it the big hoof seamlessly. Even people quitting matches – reducing the match length further – makes it more of a pure pop thrill. If you fancy a quick sports base arcade game, I suspect this is well worth a look – even if your interest in the genre disappeared along with Sensible World of Soccer. If you play, feel free to put your user-names in the comment thread so you can challenge one another to matches.

Oh – and here’s a video.

Kick off!


  1. Andrew Dunn says:

    I must say I’m enjoying your titling of the past few entries.

  2. Asskicker says:

    404 – Page not found


  3. Kieron Gillen says:

    Fixed! Plus, videoimprovement!


  4. Asskicker says:

    Error (404)!

    Well, something’s gone wrong here. We’re assuming it’s your fault.

    You call that fixed? :P

  5. Serondal says:

    WTF, this is soccer not football at all! You tricked me!! ; P

  6. D says:

    I don’t understand.. This is twice now without any foot-to-ball gags? WHAT IS GOING ON.

  7. Nimic says:

    Looks fun, but incredibly laggy for me. Unplayable, really.

  8. Kieron Gillen says:

    No, really. Fixed now.



  9. Serondal says:

    Is using the term Foot-to-ball in and of itself a foot-to-ball gag?

  10. Telemikus says:

    It’s Rossignal who usually drops the foot-to-ball lines. Kieron prefers to plunder cultural references for the mid thirties readers, who will all sagely or wryly smile to themselves in recognition. I personally love them all, i’m sure we shared identical music and DVD collections at some point without ever knowing.. in closing i’d say BOOOF! Eat that… Football pie, all over my shirt

  11. Serondal says:


  12. Nick says:

    Day to Day references please me greatly.

    Wait.. foot to ballgag? Sounds abusive.

  13. Premium User Badge

    Gnarl says:

    I would have gone with ‘Gillen Prefers Game to Alcohol’ as it has more shock value.

  14. Serondal says:

    I personally think that Serpentor from G.I. Joe would have made a perfect “Football” announcer. He’s got a natural gift for extending short 4-5 letter words out over several minutes. CobraaaaaaaaaaaLALALALALALALALA!

  15. DMJ says:

    I have no opinion on foot-to-ball. The Day Today, however, I have strong opinions on. I endorse this title.

  16. felix says:

    It’s a bit frustrating how good the goalkeeper is, and I don’t like the ability to tackel people who don’t have the ball. It results in too many pile ups.

    Crunchball 3000 is a much more satisfying experience, albiet single player.

  17. Will Tomas says:

    Would love to play it, but I get an error everytime the game gets to the stage of having loaded everything. Not working for me… very strange. Anyone got any ideas why?

  18. Andrew Dunn says:

    Sod your mid-thirties audience, I’m a dynamic twentysomething with an appetite for Chris Morris’ mid-90s satire.

  19. Duckmeister says:

    For some reason, I am strangely addicted to the game, even after I saw the “published by jagex”!

    It’s actually quite fun, I really like the persistence in your players, and the ranking system is well thought out.

  20. Duckmeister says:

    For some reason I am strangely addicted to this game, even after I saw the “published by Jagex”.

    It’s quite fun, I love the persistent stats of the players, and the ranking system is well-thought out. Who knew something like this could come from Jagex?

  21. Duckmeister says:

    Crap, double (now triple) post, it didn’t show the first one, so I thought it hadn’t gone through.

  22. Feintlocke says:

    This is positively awesome. Mario Strikers without the powerups and with a mouse! How much better can appendage-to-sphere get!

  23. Serondal says:

    I gave it a try, It was actually a lot of fun. I lost my first game but I scored 4 points towards the end so I’m starting to get the hang of it. Sadly I’d rather be playing DOW 2 :P so

  24. Ian says:

    Kieron is totally becoming a foot-to-ball fan, good and proper.

  25. Feintlocke says:

    Further to my last comment I want to add that this webgame is billoddie brilliant. I’m usually an RTS whore, but something about the simplicity of this thing is pushing all the right buttons.

    Challenge Noterist to a match if you see me.

  26. Matt says:

    It’s pretty addictive stuff, to the point of my girlfriend taking the huff when I don’t greet her return to the house because I’m busy hanging on to a hard-fought 5-4 lead…

    And incidentally KG, there is no actual real-world cash involved at all – the Orb Coins you spend are earned by gaining achievements across the multitude of games on the FunOrb site. Just in case you were worrying about not being able to afford that pint, assuming you ever peel yourself away from Kickabout….

  27. Supraliminal says:

    Crunchball 3000 is a blast!

    This thing just isn’t.

  28. Lasting effect says:

    I really love this game simple and straight forward good clean fun. The EU server is perfect for us European football addicts to avoid lag. Highly recommended one of the best football games I’ve ever played online and accessable anywhere!! 8 player games are also a great laugh.

  29. Mortiphago says:

    this game is brilliant. KG i’d hug you if I could for showing me this.

  30. Danny says:

    Awesome game. Thanks for bringing it under my attention RPS.

    Currently playing as ‘Rareromein’, so add me to those friend lists!

  31. Danny says:

    Awesome game, thanks for bringing it under my attention RPS. My ingame nick is: ‘Rareromein’, so add me to those friend lists!

  32. fishoil says:

    i’m fishoil84. give me a game

  33. Freudian Trip says:

    I’m guessing this is impossible to play with a trackpad, yis?