The Goalkeeper (PC)

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Monday, September 19, 2005

Graphics: 6.50
Sound: 6.00
Gameplay: 6.50
Replays: 7.50

Soccer (football) is certainly the world’s sport, and The Goalkeeper capitalizes on this, allowing you to play as the goalie for a soccer team. Although the game may be more stat based than other games, if you have an interest in the sport you should give it a try.

The Goalkeeper is admittedly a hard game to score in certain areas. As this is mainly a statistical game, there aren’t too many “graphical elements” present within the game. For the majority of the game you will look at and edit stats and options. Luckily, the interface is clean and easy on the eyes, and easy to go through. If you choose to try to save goals manually, then you will get a little mini-game where you move your mouse to catch the ball. The graphics on this part are nice and clean as well. One thing that should be mentioned though is some of the character models on some of the screens (such as the Coaching Screen). They look a little awkward, and have some very oddly shaped heads. Not something that’s worth quitting the game over, but hopefully these can be improved upon.

This game doesn’t have a real soundtrack, so feel free to leave your favorite media program running in the background while playing. While there is some brief music in the intro, other than that the game is silent for the most part. You will hear the crowd cheer when you save a goal, and this sounds realistic. Otherwise, there isn’t much else to hear.

In The Goalkeeper, you are a goalie for a soccer team (which you choose at the beginning of the game). You can earn and use skill points to improve your character’s playing skills, and you can also use Prestige Points to get on the coach’s good side. Once you’re in a game, you have two basic options. You can automate the game based on stats, or you can choose to manually play. The latter option introduces a mini-game of sorts, which has you moving the mouse in an attempt to save a goal. This is interesting at first, but will eventually get repetitive, much like the rest of the game.

There are plenty of options to tweak, and countries to join up with, but in the end it all ends up feeling the same. Another problem I found was that the game froze up on me when trying to play it in Full Screen. If you’re a soccer fan, check the demo out and see what you think. Otherwise, this game will likely do nothing to change your mind about the sport. A decent attempt, but it feels like the game could contain a bit more than it does. If you’re interested, the full version is $19.95 and available from http://www.winterwolves.com.

Overall Rating: 7.00

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