If I had just the right test tube and one of Mr Bunsen’s Bestest Burners, I reckon I could scientifically prove that FootLOL: Epic Fail League is the worst title since Henry VIII appointed a young cleric as his Royal Glans Grater, purely to irritate the delicate sensibilities of Pope Clement VII. As it is, all I have is a broken slide rule and a warped protractor so you’ll have to judge the title for yourself, without the guiding hand of Science to enlighten you. The game itself is currently loitering in the vicinity of Steam Greenlight and there’s an online demo. It has little in common with actual foot-to-ball, although there are teams of men hoofing a sphere about the place, being more concerned with landmines and comedic chaos. It’s quite good.
Rather than directly controlling a team, players use special abilities to turn the tide of
combat sporting activity in their favour. It begins with landmines, particularly handy for blowing goalkeepers off their line, and becomes ever stranger. Anyone following the stream of features and modifications on the Football Manager twitter feed as the series builds up to its 2014th release will be cheered by the absence of such delights as “Regional refs for regional comps, such as Conference North”. FootLOL does not care for regional referee allocations. It cares for mayhem.
It’s a series of simple joys, made more pleasant by visual touches such as the unhappy bounce of an exploded footman. Worth a click, even if it does seem like it wants to be prodded on a tablet rather than poked on a computer screen.
When I realised that I was genuinely miffed that the Union Jack is used as an icon for the English team, I thought it best to dunk my head in a tub of ice cold water in the hope of rewiring the sillier parts of my brain. I think it worked. Flag apathy has been restored.
FootLOL’s designer probably doesn’t care about the flag. He doesn’t even care about football:
In fact, I couldn’t care less about football (sorry all you footy fans out there) and know nothing about Ronaldo, Messi, Ben Affleck and the rest. So, I wasn’t ignoring the game rules per se, so much as acting in total ignorance of them. I was just focused on making a fun, addictive, silly little game – and I think I succeeded.
The team with the most goals wins the game. He got that part right.