Inviting as FIFA 14 iOS' freemium payment structure is – especially if you love Ultimate Team, which isn't behind the £2.99 paywall that Manager, Kick Off and Tournament modes are – the on-pitch action itself is badly let down by the core gameplay, which is bland, overly-complex and often frustrating.
This year's offering has introduced a brand new, multi-touch control scheme. It's built to encourage the sort of creative freedom found on its console counterpart, enabling you to manage the movement of multiple players at once. Sadly, it ends up feeling like a cross between finger Twister and real-time strategy.
They also make the game feel much slower. You spend more time worrying about incidents off the ball than on it. Trying to control two or three players at a time takes the focus away from the action, but reverting back to traditional controls makes the game feel even more limited.
On the ball, through passes simply don't work, which leads to frustrating breakdowns of great chances. On defence, there is no traditional sprint button, meaning you can only run while attempting to tackle, which always leaves you behind the man on the ball. Every player online knows this, leading to easy exploits and cheap goals.
Speaking of online, enter at your own peril. More often than not, games will be a laggy mess. Passes and shots occur seconds after you want them to and frequent losses of connection mean you'll be lucky to finish a match.
As mentioned earlier, Ultimate Team isn't hidden behind a paywall, but you also can't import your console team. It's frustrating, yes, but it's also a completely different transfer market, so it's not a total tragedy.
FIFA 14 iOS isn't a great game. Save your time with EA's football franchise for on home consoles, the way it's meant to be played.
Version Tested: iOS 7/iPad 2. Played for 4 hours.
4 / 10
- Ultimate Team is free.
- Frustrating to control.
- Touch controls create more problems than they solve.
- Laggy online play.