Football or soccer is inarguably the most popular sport in the world. But like all sports, or other sources of entertainment, it has its fair share of detractors and critics. The most common criticism thrown its way is that it can sometimes be boring, especially to casual fans. Matches can go on for hours with neither team even scoring a single goal. When that happens, the game is decided by penalty shots, which is quite similar to free throws in basketball but utilized differently. World Cup Penalty is all about those penalty shots, as obviously stated by the game’s title. But there’s more to it than just scoring goals.
Represent your country!
World Cup Penalty doesn’t immediately throw you into the penalty shots event. You have to choose which country you will be representing first. Almost all countries that take part in the FIBA World Cup are available for selection, but if your country is not in the list, well, just pick your favorite national team. The country you pick only affects the jersey colors of the players, so, no, you don’t really get to play as Lionel Messi or Christiano Ronaldo. If you don’t know which country you want to pick, just choose based on your favorite colors.
Offense and Defense
The game plays out in a tournament style, where you are pitted against three other countries or opponents. You are assigned only two players for each match: the striker and the goalie. The main gameplay is to score as many goals as you can while also preventing your opponent from doing so. Matches play out with you and your opponent alternating between offense and defense, or kicking and goalkeeping. Each of you is given five chances to score (and, of course, five chances to block). The one with the most goals in the end, obviously, wins.
Aside from the goal count, there is a rather useless points system in the game, most likely for High Score purposes. You acquire points every time you score a goal and you lose points every time your opponent does the same; you don’t lose points if your shot really misses the mark. It doesn’t matter how many goals you score towards victory. As long as you score more goals than your opponent, you get a ‘W’ in the W-L column (Wins-Loses).
Since the game is played out in two ways, the controls also come in two. For offense, the controls come in three steps. First you control the direction of the ball (left or right), then the height (up or down), and then the speed of the ball. As soon as you set all three, either by tapping the screen or with the spacebar, the striker will do his business. For defense, it all comes down to timing. A glove icon will appear around the goal post for a split second, which shows where the opponent’s shot will go. All you have to do is to tap the screen or press the spacebar in time to catch it.
World Cup Penalty has a lot more immersive gameplay than usual browser games, mostly due to the offense and defense aspect and also the tournament-style in which it plays out. If you have a willing friend, you can play it in 2-Player: One does the offense while the other takes care of the defense. At least you’ll feel it’s a team game in that way.