Updated: Foosball HD iPad Review

Two bits of news have come in regarding Illusion Lab’s Foosball franchise. The first of these comes in the form of an update to Foosball HD, adding three difficulty levels to the single player mode. This is certainly a welcome change, although we’d still like to see the ability to change the score needed to win.

The second is that Illusion Labs has released a version of Foosball for the iPhone. It’s pretty much identical to the iPad version, including the two-player mode. It’s also compatible with the iPhone 4’s Retina display. When played on the iPhone 4, Foosball looks very beautiful and realistic. To download this version of Foosball for $0.99, click here.

As we said in our iPad review, this is a solid purchase for anyone who enjoys a good game of Foosball. Since both versions of the game are identical, there isn’t much reason to purchase both. If you own an iPad, we’d probably recommend that version, but it is also important to note that at 1/3 of the price, those on a tight budget will find the iPhone version a steal.

With all the pinball and air hockey games on the App Store, it would seem foosball has been getting shafted. Illusion Labs has taken this opportunity to create Foosball HD for the iPad, and we have to admit it’s quite impressive despite a few oversights.

Foosball HD is an exact replica of the tabletop game down to the team colors and look of the players. There are even authentic sound effects. Each player controls the teams by moving the metal bars back and forth on their side of the screen. The controls are very responsive, although there is a little bit of a learning curve considering you aren’t physically turning the bars.

The original “Red vs. Blue”.

The physics in Foosball HD are quite good, so everything feels more or less like a real foosball table. One cool effect we noticed was that the ball will pop up towards the screen if it hits a wall too hard. You can even get the ball stuck under your player’s feet, something we’re sure has eternally aggravated foosball enthusiasts.

Foosball HD’s lack of customization is its weakest point. In single player, there is no option to choose the computer’s difficulty or which color you’d like to play as. The biggest oversight is that you can’t choose how many points you want to play to. At the moment, every match ends after five points is reached. This is an easy fix that could make Foosball HD an even more compelling package.

As it is, there is a lot to like about this digital remake of a tabletop classic. As bare bones as it may be, the work put into the core experience shows. Plus, it comes without the pain of your opponent smashing a metal bar into places you’d rather be kept pain-free.

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