From developer New Star Games, Retro Goal is a simple yet fun take on soccer with a budget friendly ($5) price that packs enough depth to get you hooked. In the words of New Star Games:
With graphics inspired by the most beloved football games of 16-bit era and the accuracy of modern touchscreen controls, you’ll be slotting away goal after goal with pixel-perfect precision. Choose a team from the world’s favorite leagues and recruit the superstars, professionals and hotheads who will lead you to victory – then take full control on the pitch and make every touch count!
Retro Goalpreviously released on iOS devices back in the Summer 2021 with the Android release coming a few weeks after, has taken the same path to the Nintendo Switch as retro-bowl. Now that it has been released for the Nintendo Switch, it’s time to see how it stacks up against the competition in this Retro Goal review.
Retro Goal Review
What I Like
With its smooth and simplistic controls, Retro Goal — thanks in part to a brief tutorial — is as pick up and play as you can get, which makes sense considering it debuted on mobile devices first. The fast and quick action the game throws you into is a throwback to when games were primarily focused on fun first and avoided unnecessary complexities found in many AAA soccer titles.
Shoot, pass, and slide tackle pretty much covers all the basics, so it’s easy enough for children to pick up yet packs enough variety and punch for older gamers. There’s even touch-screen functionality for those who want to completely do away with analog sticks and buttons.
For a game that features such simple controls and retro 16-bit graphics, Retro Goal is surprisingly deep with nearly 500 teams and 24 of the world’s top teams, including the top two English divisions. While there aren’t real players, it’s still easy enough to pretend. At the heart of the game is its career mode, which features a transfer market, the ability to upgrade stadiums, a youth academy, as well as training facilities. Retro Goal even features a more detailed stat database than FIFA 23which can be found under the “Records” menu.
Just as it is in real-life, winning matches results in gaining coins, which can be spent upgrading those facilities and the like. You can even use these coins to hire staff, which helps to improve your players and allows them to play at elevated levels. Starting in the lower levels, you have modest budgets and players you can quickly train up or ship out if you so choose.
What I Don’t Like
Limited Defensive Scenarios
If there’s one criticism of Retro Goal, it’s that the good majority of the action is focused on the attacking side despite having to complete defensive actions in the tutorial. Similar to how FIFA 23 introduced “Playable Moments” this year, the match result is usually centered around 4-5 moments. Unfortunately, very few of these scenarios are on the defensive side, which makes sense since scoring goals is all the rage but it would still be nice to hunker down and make a few timely challenges.
Another hidden gem from New Star Games, Retro Goal’s super affordable price, throwback graphics, and surprisingly deep modes make it a great game for both the soccer enthusiast and kid who wants to get into the sport and/or video games. At its core, the game’s simplistic controls lead the way to an addictive obsession that can see you breeze through half a season before you know it. While perhaps not as fun as its cousin, retro-bowlthere’s still a ton of enjoyment to be had with this one.