Kickerinho World (Switch Review): Tap Tap Exit

Euro 2020 is almost at its end, but football lives on in the world of gaming. Tired of 90 minutes of scoring goals? Hone your skills in Kickerinho World on the Switch.

The Euro 2020 final is almost upon us, and the football season on the Nintendo Switch is heating up. Why not replicate the final in a footy game such as Kickerinho World? But let’s be clear that this is a trick style game, not an onion bag hunt.

Before you can get the pronunciation for Kickerinho right, it’s already started. Choose your mobile-friendly avatar from a host of colours and sizes – male and female, and get straight into the action with some keepie uppies. But hold on, I haven’t even tied my laces…

It doesn’t matter. Kickerinho World wants you up and running – no formal introductions, kick the ball in the air with ZL, then keep the momentum going by pressing ZR, then back and forth. That’s it. Easy peasy. Only, it’s not. Having controls that a hippo with carpal tunnel could essentially ace does not translate on the Switch whatsoever: the timing in this game is ludicrous.

If the game was about being branded too early or too late with your button presses, then restarting the round each time, then this may well be the greatest game of all time. Adhering to that strict criteria, that is. There’s no leeway, no indicator to say the optimal time to press, nor any difficulty settings. Sure, the button presses come up on the screen, but they’re so rigid, there’s no room for error.

Kickerinho World Switch Review - Social distancing
Social distancing. Source: Nintendo

Based on the presentation, this is game published by No Gravity Games is gold for younger kids, but mine couldn’t get on with it either and rather than hone their skills as potential footballers, it fast-tracked their thirst for MMA and smashing things up, starting with the Switch. Time to get a new one.

That’s not true, they didn’t throw it, but they said it with their eyes. I, however, said it with my mouth, “Nope, I’m done. Not enjoying this at all”.

rage-quit

verb

INFORMAL•US

angrily abandon an activity or pursuit that has become frustrating, especially the playing of a video game.

“I tried to play it two different times and wound up rage-quitting both times”

Shifting to the constructive element of this Kickerinho World Switch review, who’s it for? Mobile gamers. People who get a kick (ha!) out of tapping type games, eager to big up their scores. It’s not for football fans, in the sense of running down the pitch for 90 minutes, faking an injury until getting doused with that magic spray and driving vehicles that should feature in Hot Wheels or a Michael Bay wankfest.

Conducting a bit of investigative journalism, a.k.a. a Google search, Kickerinho World first appeared on mobiles yonks ago. It seems fitting as it has instant playability, and should you not get on with it, delete it like all those other novelty titles you had. Peeking at the YouTube videos – all from mobile gameplay – it’s playable as other players have accumulated more points than a footballer’s driving licence. But for me, and playing it on the Switch, even with the simple ZL and ZR controls, it was too strict.

Kickerinho World Switch Review - Custom kicks
Custom kicks. Source: Nintendo

Once you get past the opening few tricks, you’ll unlock the menu (there are zero options beforehand other than character creation). In this menu, you can travel the world (the background changes), purchase new gear from the shop such as boosts to improve your flow, chart your progression and the moves you’ve learned, plus character customisation. Even as a customisation whore, this feature wasn’t enough to keep me invested as you naturally have to unlock items through collecting coins. In other words, unlock new moves and chain as many tricks together and get paid for it.

No, Kickerinho World wasn’t for me at all. I just couldn’t get into it. The keepie uppie section in the original California Games is less forgiving, and that was a pretty tough game from memory. It’s not the trick style game that put me off – Street Power Soccer was a lot of fun, but the controls were fundamentally more relaxed/there were difficulty options. 

Don’t give up hope, reader; it may be the perfect game for you. Seek it out on the YouTubes and other reviews, but from my neck of the woods, nope.