Inclement digital weather saw the match called off last week, delayed with only a few hours’ notice, but Sociable Soccer today started its pre-season fixtures and launched into early access. It’s a new arcade-y ball-kicker made by Sensible Soccer co-designer John Hare and the Combo Breaker squad. They expect to launch the full version early next year but, if you really want to get kicking now and don’t mind missing features, you can now take to the pitch.In its initial early access state, Sociable Soccer only has solo play and local multiplayer, with online play still to come. But arcade football is best enjoyed locally anyway, yes? Plans for early access include adding a Manager Mode, 8-player competitions, and an online card-collecting Ultimate Team sort of doodad, new animations, an editor, and other new bits.
Sociable Soccer is £15/€20/$20 on Steam. The usual early access caveats apply.
Sensible Soccer is from a period of British games history that I mostly missed. Our family couldn’t afford computers or consoles until I was a teenager, so video games existed in 15-minute bursts round friends’ houses before they got bored because they’d played them a million times. Some top-down spaceship shooter on the ZX Spectrum. James Pond 2: Robocod on a mate’s Amiga. But I do remember a friend insisting that Sensible Soccer was amazing, then being baffled because the video game abstraction of football was unrecognisable to me as playing football. But someone I haven’t seen in 22 years did really like the precursor to Social Soccer, so that’s probably some sort of recommendation.