Willy The Striker is a fairly new mobile game designed for Android in which you play as Willy, a teenager who wants to become the greatest football player there has ever been. The game is built around well-designed mechanics that are easy to learn, but hard to master. Because the game is solely built around practicing your kicks, a question arises: does Willy the Striker have enough content to be entertaining and keep you hooked? The answer is a surprising, but not definitive, yes.
The game revolves around a fairly simple mechanic, that faintly reminds you of the catching mechanic some might know from Pokémon Go, only in Willy The Striker you drag your finger all the way to your desired target, drawing a flightpath for the ball. Depending on your accuracy rating Willy will kick the ball close to where you aimed. Faster swipes create more accuracy, but require a steady finger to accomplish. The aiming system is the bread and butter of the game, but is just hard enough to keep you trying over and over again until you hit that small hoop and see Willy jumping with joy. But be careful, if you play too long Willy will get tired and require a snack to keep his energy up.
As of now, there are two game modes. Practice (or Keepy Up), which challenges you to keep the ball in the air by kicking it as long as you can. You get rewarded in-game currency for this that can later be used to purchase better equipment for a more precise shot, as well as snacks. Then there is the “real” game that is split into three different zones: Playground is where you start your journey, then you move to the Street to hone your skills, and finally it’s your time to shine on the Stadium. Every zone has 30 challenges, so there is a lot to do, and the challenges keep you entertained and live up to their name as being challenging. Every challenge awards you 1-3 stars based on your performance, with two or more stars sometimes awarding you in-game currency. As a F2P game, there is also always the option of using real money to buy items from the in-game shop.
Despite being entertaining and overall a very enjoyable game, not having a price tag comes with some annoyances. Every 5 levels or so the game forces you to watch a few seconds of an ad before continuing. Also a lot of fluidity would be achieved by enabling a “continue” action by clicking on the screen, for example when you complete a level, or just make the buttons larger. While the UI is very smooth when playing, the menus suffer from these types of design decisions. But if you can get past these problems, Willy The Striker will keep you entertained for a while, might make you frustrated, but reward you in the end. And also, it’s free!
Title: Willy The Striker
Developer: Prodigium Game Studios
Platform: iOs & Android
Released: October 6th, 2016
Genre: Sports games
Age Rating: PEGI 3