Published on April 23rd, 2013 | by Greg0
New Potato Foosball For The iPad: Not Quite The Real Thing
We might not soccer players- but that doesn’t stop us from having a great time pretending. Twisting and twirling little figures in the hopes of gracefully propelling a foosball into the opponent’s goal is a classic bar game. Fast-moving, it’s smaller and easier to pick up than pool, and you can easily bring other people in or out. Skill matters, but there will always be a bit of chance. It’s also a very tactile game, one that’s all about feel, so a challenge to duplicate electronically.
But we give New Potato Technologies respect for trying, with their Classic Match Foosball game table accessory for the iPad. It’s a dock that requires can be played on the go, running off of the iPad and with a USB cable for charging and docking your tablet. Out of the box, you’ll need to do some quick assembly. Plug it in and you’re treated with the request to download the free app, download it and you’re all set. Altogether, we had our foosball table ready for competition in five minutes flat. The iPad fits in snugly, and is easy to get in and out. It looks and is plastic, but feels pretty heavy and stable. The build quality is pretty impressive- the handles feel solid and move smoothly, the non-slip pads on the legs mean that it doesn’t move too much, and we liked the (slightly unncessary) inclusion of the traditional scorekeeping markers. The game keeps track for you, so they’re mostly for looks. The app is responsive and fluid at first, impressively as well.
But it’s here that we hit a snag. They claim that the table is suitable for multiplayer, but the small handles and space between them mean that it’s hard for more than one person to access them easily. The app itself is ok, with some nice touches (the instant replays upon scoring) and some pretty terrible mechanics that make it feel a bit fake (weird bounces and physics, straight lines and sudden accelerations, collision issues, and a general lacking in simulation). One of the best tricks in the real version is to quickly make a save with your goalie thanks to a sudden spin and slide, and the app doesn’t handle that very well at all. But the biggest issue was the offset handles that didn’t match the placement on the app- meaning that we regularly grabbed for the wrong row. It seems like a major design flaw, and one that could have been remedied with a change in either the app or the way the handles were laid out.
It’s still one of the better gaming accessories we’ve tried, if definitely single-purpose. If you’re a foosball fan, it’s one of the better simulations out there. Give it a spin- and play against the decent AI to perfect your game. Available now for around $90.