When you think of Table Football you probably imagine those little plastic men tethered together at the arm, who are cruelly spun around whilst they attempt to ‘kick’ a ball that is horrendously oversized in comparison to themselves. Some people know Table Football as Foosball, but either way Table Football for PS Vita isn’t quite like that torture chamber for plastic footballers. Instead it takes its name from the fact you can play it on any surface at any time, and so it’s just really bad wordplay.
Like the other Augmented Reality titles that come prepackaged with the Vita (Fireworks, Cliff Diver), Table Football uses the AR cards to build a pitch to play on. The difference this time however is that multiple cards are needed to set up a pitch to play on. Aligning the first three AR cards, with the 2nd card in the middle, materialises a football pitch upon the screen. Moving the outer cards further away from the middle card makes the pitch larger, if you just want to have some more space to play on. You can then use the remaining cards to put up two seating stands and a scoreboard so you can really get that football feeling going. The players are then added to the pitch to make it fill out a little more.It’s certainly flashier than your average Foosball table.
Jut like the name, Table Football doesn’t play like Foosball either, if anything it works like that old school football tabletop game Subbuteo. Moving players requires giving them a little flick in the desired direction, whilst passes come from pushing your finger in the desired direction and flicking off with enough force to send the ball over; shooting works in the same way. Tackling is dealt with very strangely, requiring you to flick your desired player over to the opponent who has possession of the ball, upon which point you take possession. As the game plays out in turn based movements this means defending the ball is incredibly tricky as its relatively easy to grab the ball from your opponent. As mentioned before, the game plays out in a turn based style. You can make four moves a turn, and each move has to be made within a certain time limit otherwise you forfeit your turn. This is obviously to keep the pace up, and to make it easier to play a game on the same machine, but it is painfully dull.
Whilst Table Football supports two players on the same machine, as well as two players each with their own Vita (as you’ll share the same AR cards and utilise wi-fi to exchange data), it features a tournament mode as well as a whole host of worldwide teams to play as, it really doesn’t feel as enjoyable to play when placed alongside the other AR games. Visually it isn’t overly impressive, with a simple wireframe pitch and rather static players, it feels like it was more of an afterthought than a dedicated feature for the Vita. It makes us wonder if its inclusion is only for the European market, whilst Cliff Diver and Fireworks would be available worldwide – and thus have more polish. It’s a shame that it showed promise with the ability to create and modify a pitch, but it’s a letdown because its gameplay is simple, dull and ultimately doesn’t entice you to keep coming back for more. However you can’t really knock it too much as it was entirely free.
Final Score: 2/5