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Total Football review: Engage in a vibrant and colorful matchday experience

Compete with your team on a global scale!

Total Football is a new mobile football simulation game from the house of Gala Sports. Players put together a dream team featuring the best footballers around the world to compete globally. The developers have promised an immersive and memorable football experience, with enhanced visuals, motion-captured movements, and official FIFPro Licensing. Here in this article, we will review Total Football and share our first impressions of the game.

When speaking of authentic football simulation games on mobile, a few titles immediately spring to mind. That includes EA‘s FIFA Mobile, KONAMI‘s eFootball, and perhaps even the long-running Dream League Soccer series. All these games have built up reputations in the industry and so it won’t be an easy task for Total Football to create its own name. There are still potential gaps in this market though, there are still opportunities. Let’s see if the developers have managed to fill them.

The game offers a bright and engaging Matchday experience

Starting off with the Total Football review, the game takes a bright and animated perspective, focusing more on smooth animations and quality of performance. Whilst it doesn’t stand out as especially authentic, it means the visuals are simple, yet enjoyable to look at.

Alongside the vivid coloring and play on shadows, the facial features of players are another component that stands out. It keeps to the arcade-like theme whilst also ensuring the faces are recognizable. The game makes sure to show off these graphics often through replays, celebrations, and cutscenes

Total Football Celebration
Image via Gala Sports

Player movement and dribbling are quite smooth and the passing/shooting mechanics are dynamic and straightforward to use. In particular, set-pieces have been implemented well – they are straightforward but challenging to master and come with set-piece tactics too. Compared to other football simulation games on mobile, Total Football features a larger pitch space, particularly in top-to-bottom width.

The controls in this game match up well with other games so it’s easy to get familiar with the setup. At first, the team does feel a little disjointed, making it difficult to link together attacks and create passing moves. Tweaking the tactics sorted this issue though, it’s good to know these selections make a meaningful impact in-game.

Total Football Set Pieces
Image via Gala Sports

Ironically, despite having Brazilian trickster, Ronaldinho, as the game’s cover player, there are no skill moves, fake shots, etc. Total Football is evidently aiming for that arcade-like style of football gameplay, and this is incomplete without some flashy tricks. Hopefully, this is something in the roadmap going forward.

Total Football goes down the gacha path for recruiting players

Players put together a “Dream Team” and can obtain new players through Agents, Scouts, and Trades. The former two work in a gacha-like format where a player is chosen at random. The higher the quality of the Agent/Scout, the higher the chance of getting a good player. Trades are where players submit certain cards in exchange for better cards. This feature feels slightly out-of-reach for new players though, considering the level of cards that are needed initially.

Total Football Pack Opening
Image via Gala Sports

To be honest, the whole progression component of the game has been a bit of a letdown. Particularly for new players, progression relies heavily on luck and it’s possible to dodge this barrier with in-app purchases. There’s a risk of imbalance between free-to-play and pay-to-play in this game, which is unfortunate considering it has online aspects as well.

Collectively, the mobile football simulation market still has gaps to be filled, and gacha-like squad building is not one of them. We already have established games like FIFA Mobile and eFootball, both of which have similar progression mechanics. It feels like this idea was just plugged into the game with little thought, which is a little disappointing.

Total Football Levelling Up
Image via Gala Sports

Players can also train their individual cards using EXP amongst other currencies. The training system is simple and rather generic. It works well though, so it’s difficult to complain.

Make the club feel like your own

Customization is big in Total Football. Everything from the club badge, to the kits to the stadium can be customized to your preference. Some items are difficult to obtain without IAPs, which is fair considering these are (pretty appealing) cosmetics.

Total Football Stadium Design
Image via Gala Sports

Basic items are obtained through completing objectives whilst other special items like World Cup-themed fireworks and seat designs etc, require some premium currency to purchase. The customized aspects of the club are regularly in the spotlight so it is worth shining the place up. Not many football games on mobile offer this kind of detail, so it’s nice to see.

A variety of ways to play keeps content fresh

Total Football offers a range of different modes including offline Career, ranked multiplayer, limited-time tournaments, and skill challenges. Starting with the Career mode, players work through a calendar facing off against teams in a domestic league. It must be said, the quality of AI needs improvement since even on the highest difficulty, there is little change in how the AI plays. Both in defense and in attack, AI rarely shows any threat or strategy.

The online modes are worth playing though. Additionally, the skill challenges are a great place to go to try something different too, these are behind the Special Training button. Skill challenges range from free-kick challenges, passing drills, attacking scenarios, and even match scenarios such as coming back from 2-0 down or scoring 4 goals with 1 player.

Total Football World Cup Predictions
Image via Gala Sports

Those that have played FIFA Mobile will be familiar with this kind of concept. Total Football treats this as a special mode, however, which means players can enjoy the challenge, rather than see it as key to progression. The game runs a series of different live events featuring objectives and missions to complete for more rewards.

There is always something to be working towards and there’s always a reason to keep logging in each day. In fact, the developers have proven they can get creative with these events too, recently during the FIFA World Cup 2022, there was a predictions event in which players could make predictions on scorelines and awards.

The game dips into the tactics with a twist

We touched on this earlier in the review – the tactics have a meaningful impact in-game which is great to see since football is a strategy-heavy game in real life. However, the idea of tactics in this game is not exactly as expected. There is a massive list of different formations available but only a select few are unlocked. The rest require Glory Points progression to unlock.

That’s not all, playing with a formation will level it up, and each formation has its own buff which increases with levels. For example, the 4-2-1-3 (Holding) formation buffs LW/RW speed, and the 4-3-3 (Narrow) buffs the midfielder’s ball control. It’s difficult to see why such a mechanic would be necessary, but perhaps the game is just trying to keep that arcade-like theme consistent.

Total Football Tactics
Image via Gala Sports

There are a few toggles for general tactics including attacking/defending style and set-piece duties which are standard. Aside from that though, there are other tactic cards as well, split into the two attacking/defending categories. For example, they could include Overlapping FBs, False 9 for attacking, and Low Block for defending.

They are preset cards based on common ideas in real life, but any team can only have two of each category active at once. Additionally, most cards must be unlocked in other parts of the game before they are used. Again, it looks like the game is just trying to keep the game from getting too technical and instead simple, whilst also bringing some realism in as well.

Final Verdict

A certain few games currently dominate the football simulation market and it has been a while since we last got a new, complete, and officially licensed football game. Total Football boasts some fantastic visuals and gameplay mechanics, just as the developers had promised in their description. Aside from the poor-quality AI, the football is fun – not ground-breaking but enjoyable nonetheless.

Total Football review gameplay trailer

The game takes inspiration from others in the genre to provide some decent modes, but generic progression mechanics. There are signs of pay-to-win potential, which is disappointing considering we already have enough of that in the mobile market already. Total Football tries to put on its own spin elsewhere through arcade-like tactics selection, detailed customization, and a range of limited-time content.

All in all, from a review perspective, Total Football gives us more of what there is on the mobile market already, but with a few small twists of their own. It’s not the game football fans have been crying out for, but it’s a decent little game in its own right. For those that have grown tired of the gameplay in other football simulation games, Total Football is certainly worth a shot.

Total Football review by Gamingonphone

Gameplay Mechanics - 8
Game Progression - 6
Gamemodes and Content - 7
Graphics and Music - 9
Free-to-play elements - 5

7

Average

Although Total Football boasts some fantastic visuals and gameplay mechanics, it still possesses poor-quality AI. In short, football is fun and enjoyable but not ground-breaking.

What are your opinions on the Total Football game and your review of it? Do let us know in the comments!

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