I’ll admit to seeing the name of this app and thinking it was some sort of religious game. Then I read the description, saw the word football, and thought, “eh.”
But Hand of God isn’t about football, it’s about football. As in what the rest of the world calls football. Which for me, changed things entirely. (I happened to be wearing a Celtic Football Club shirt when I checked out the app for the first time. Enough said.)
And the name makes total and complete sense once you’ve seen the game in action. As PloyToy states on their website: “For all fans who have seen their team cheated, now take revenge in Hand of God.”
I love this concept. Who hasn’t watched a game at some point and thought “now how the hell did that happen?” In Hand of God, you aren’t a player – you’re the ball. Or rather, you’re “God”, controlling the ball by tilting your iPhone (and the field) side to side, watching the players try desperately to play an honest game while you laugh maniacally.
It’s all about cheating. The app says so itself: “Bend the rules of football and cheat to win – just like the real thing.”
There’s a lot of detail in this game – a helpful starter mode, a yellow arrow that shows you whose side your on and when you want to score, and 3 difficulty settings that include 2 a side, 5 a side, and 11 a side matches. When you play 2 or 5 a side, a new player is added after each half until you’re up to 11, which is a good way to ease into it. The players make it tough – their movements are far from random.
There’s also stars – or “God particles” – on the field for you to grab…or not to grab, depending on how you feel. And the game moves fast, with a new match starting every 90 seconds. The app is very smooth – the ball responds immediately to even slight adjustments in how you tilt your iPhone.
I can easily see someone, a few pints after watching his team go down in a completely unfair defeat, take out his frustrations by playing Hand of God. Relive that last play the way it was supposed to happen! In fact, if I could add anything to this game, it would be the ability to change team jersey colors. (They’re set to blue and red. I’d change that red to green, and anyone from Glasgow will know why.)
The bottom line? This game can get pretty tough and takes a good amount of control and dexterity even when sober. Playing it with some friends at the pub would be nothing short of hilarious.
Hand of God requires iPhone OS 3.1.2 or later and is compatible with the iPhone and iPod Touch.