Review: FIFA '13 (iOS)

Football fans who just can’t get enough of FIFA ’13 can keep their appetites whet while on the bus or train with FIFA ’13 for the iOS.

The bite-sized mobile app pares down the FIFA ’13 console game into on-pitch gameplay, a manager mode, tournaments, and online play. It’s not your full FIFA ’13 game – but feels finished enough with just these elements. Certain main menu items have also been removed, so as to cater for the mobile nature of the game. While on the go, you don’t really want to be fiddling with an extra ten options.

Without an analog controller, match play is reduced to on-screen buttons: a d-pad and four instructional circles tell you what to do. Passing the ball is as simple as a single tap; the same goes for shooting. It’s when you try to do something tricky that things get complicated. To perform a special move, you have to trace out a particular pattern on the Skill Move button, which expands into a grid of squares once tapped.

It’s easy enough to get used to the controls, but playing with the companion controller app via your iPhone or iTouch is better than stretching your fingers out all over the iPad. That can be quite a pain for people with small hands.

Managerial mode is simplified for the iOS app, but you still get enough to get a proper FIFA experience. Do anything from advancing your career, to looking up teams for pre-season friendlies, to reading your email. It’s all good on the iOS.

The game’s graphics on iOS are pretty decent, with players being detailed enough for you to recognise them just by looking at their faces. Like the selection of leagues and teams, the game’s soundtrack has also not differed from the full one.

Online play in the FIFA ’13 iOS app might not be what the hardcore fans are looking for, however. There’s only so much one can do with an on-screen d-pad and buttons. Players can hit up their Origin friends by logging into their accounts, but should not head into that expecting the full, competitive FIFA experience that the consoles and PC online play might bring. On the other hand, the more casual gameplay of FIFA ’13 for the iOS can make for really great YouTube videos, and this complements the YouTube upload function of the game perfectly.

I did feel that the iOS version could have kept more of the Skill Games the console version had, as those are more in line with its mobile nature. As it is, however, the app doubles as both a great time-killer as well as one worthy of prolonged play, making it worth its US$6.99 price tag.

The Good
  • Bite sized game is easy to digest while waiting for the bus.
  • Has enough elements from the console version to feel like a complete game.
  • Manager Mode pared down to basics is easier to stomach compared to console.
The Bad
  • Gameplay can feel too casual for competitive players.
  • Could have included more skill games to complement its mobile nature.


FIFA ’13 Mobile for the iOS is available on the App Store for US$6.99.