Score! Classic Goals is an app designed for both iPhone and iPad users that offers the unique experience of recreating some of the most iconic goals in football history with just a flick of your fingers.
Since I downloaded it, for the paltry price of 69p, complete submergence into the weird world of tiny footballers has left me imagining any actual goal condensed to the size of 3.5 inches, with me, the maestro, controlling it.
When Gareth Bale nipped in from the right hand side against Southampton recently and swiftly spanked a shot into the corner of the goal, I didn’t marvel at the audacity of PFA Player of the Year’s strike, I just imagined how much better he could have done if he was under my control.
There is something potentially tyrannical about this app, then. It’s simplicity breeds addiction and it’s bright, smart interface encourages casual play and strategic challenges alike – there is, as well as just the fun of smashing goals into the top corner, an objective, as the goals increase in difficulty and demand smoother moves.
My first sighting of the game was of the former style of play though. On the tube, watching someone attempt to score David Beckham’s infamous free kick against Greece from 2001 whilst we were stuck somewhere, squashed. Gliding his finger over the screen and guiding the ball via a process of line-drawing, the tube traveller consistently scored a rating of ‘Good’ (two stars!) before a momentous moment when an inspired and concentrated spot of line curvature gave him the coveted ‘Excellent’ sign (three stars!) and meant he could place his phone in his pocket, comfortable in the knowledge that he’d taken England to the World Cup before teatime.
The choice of goals you can attempt to replicate is quite something. And following a recent update, the app now includes goals from international tournaments from the 70’s onwards, as well as the chance to score goals with some of the greatest English, Spanish, Dutch, Italian and German teams of all time. Unlocking these teams takes time and a series of successful goals builds a points system which can later be traded for more sides and more strikes.
A curious facet and intriguing aspect of the game is the lack of player names, correct kits and commentary. It attributes to the game a kind of delightful amateurism and allows you to appreciate the goals for their intricate art instead of the bombastic fame of the player scoring it, leaving you to guess the player scoring or see if you can recall from the recesses of your mind that time Argentina completed twenty five short passes before Cambiasso scored.
And so for football fanatics with memories of Icelandic screamers or anyone who’s ever wanted to have a go of Gary Neville’s pen on MNF, Score! provides you with your chance and will probably deprive you of a social life whilst you’re at it.