The summer of soccer football competitions is almost upon us, with both Copa América and Euro 2016 starting this month. Google's showing its support by asking users to select which teams they'd like to follow within Google Now.
Euro 2016 is mere days away, with the competition starting in France on June 10. Two cards, one above and one below, have been appearing in the last few days advertising the European championship. One is asking users which teams they would like to follow, listing them horizontally in alphabetical order with a plus in the top right for adding them to get updates. The card only seems to be appearing if a national football team is already followed in Now, although it may appear if a club football team is followed too.
Just last week SEGA published Football Manager Mobile 2016, a version of its long-running soccer management sim that skips out on fancy graphics in order to make it play nice with older hardware. Now Football Manager Touch 2016, a more high-powered version with full 3D simulated football matches, has joined it. SEGA's naming scheme is a little convoluted: Touch is more of a high-end game than Mobile, though both of them support mobile hardware and touch controls.
It's also much more expensive. FMM2016 wasn't cheap at $8.99 plus in-app purchases, but Football Manager Touch 2016 costs a whopping $19.99... and yes, it still has in-app purchases, up to $6.99.
Considering the last year of events in the NFL, my usual cheeky poking of soccer fans would probably be in bad taste. After all, when one of the most visible "managers" in America's version of football is Jerry Jones, a man who would probably punch a baby in the face while he ate a puppy sandwich if it meant he could win a Superbowl, I'm in no position to take jabs at The Beautiful Game.* So, for all you football fans who dream about managing a World Cup team, SEGA is back with another entry in its endless Football Manger series.
How hard am I kicking a soccer ball? Not hard at all. I don't play soccer, or football as you folks living in most other countries call it. But if I did kick soccer balls—and by kick, I mean apply enough force to quickly send them in a straight direction, rather than nudge them awkwardly and accidentally off to the side—the Adidas Snapshot app might just pique my interest.
Snapshot takes footage of you kicking a soccer ball and determines from those frames just how fast you sent the thing flying. The app defaults to kilometers per hour, because only those of us who call the sport soccer have any interest in seeing miles per hour instead.
Welcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn't get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can't wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don't want to wade through a whole day's worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we've got a super-fast platformer, a unique 2D exploration game, two tunnel runners, a minimal twitch game, yet another soccer manager, and (sigh) a game from a bunch of Let's Play "stars." Without further ado:
HoPiKo is a platformer that abandons such things as precision or exploration for pure speed.
We don't see too much enthusiasm for soccer in the US. In fact, we call it soccer instead of football just to show how much we don't care what the rest of the world thinks. Classic America, right? At any rate, FIFA 16 Ultimate Team is out on Android, and I'm going to do my best to explain what it's all about.
Soccer games and tower defense games seem to have reached their design peak - while you see a new idea every once in a while, both genres are relatively static. That's probably what makes FootLOL so interesting: it mixes both genres, and a bunch of other random insanity, to make something wholly unique. And also insane. Just have a gander at the trailer below and see if you can scrape together the few bits of coherence in the gameplay.
FootLOL is basically the over-the-top sports game, a la NBA Street or Mario Super Strikers, taken to its most unbelievable conclusion. You control your team and try to score goals in the conventional way, but you also get crazy semi-permanent cannons and turrets, stampeding herds of cattle, alien abductions, and a host of other things that are slightly outside of the rules of soccer to employ on both offense and defense.
Remember those baseballs that measured pitch speed with a little LCD screen right on the ball, the ones that only the rich kids on your little league team had? This is the modern, logical extension. For the last year, Adidas has been selling its Smart Ball, a soccer ball (or football, if you insist) with integrated sensors that can detect speed, spin, strike force, and flight time, and a Bluetooth radio to transmit all that data. Previously it was only compatible with the iOS app, but the company has finally released an app for the most common mobile OS on the planet.
Forza Soccer is one of the top apps in the Play Store for keeping track of what you guys in the rest of the world call football. How do we know it's good? Because you told us in the comments when we recommended 20 other soccer apps to check out.
Now the app, which follows live scores and provides video highlights, has received its big material design update. This way keeping up with your sports fandom doesn't require stepping back in time.
The Amazon Echo, as a sort of physical embodiment of the functionality that voice-controlled services like Google Now offer, is an interesting idea. But without a screen or much in the way of direct input, its utility is limited by the number of services that it ties into. For example, before today the Echo could only access music from iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and Amazon's own cloud music service. The latest software update enables much-needed support for Pandora.
To use Pandora music with the Echo, open the Echo app on your phone and add your Pandora account details in the Music Services section of the Settings menu.