Some people just aren’t cut out for the traditional football game, perhaps due to the long and arduous process of playing through 90 minutes of match play, or even because of the pressures of playing career simulators and following a player through his life as a professional footballer.
Whatever your reason for not getting along with broad-scope football games like Fifa 13 or New Star Soccer, there is hope, and it comes in the form of Volley Challenge 2009/10. While many sports games attempt to bring you as much content as possible by covering as many features of it as they possibly can, Volley Challenge is a narrow-scope simulation with volleying the ball being the only concern. Mousebreaker have a habit of releasing addictive sporting titles, and this one is far from their least entertaining offering so far.
At the outset of Volley Challenge 2009/10, you follow the standard procedure for the series by firstly selecting which team you want to be shooting volleys for. As indicated in the title, the teams reflect the situation of the leagues in the 09/10 season, allowing you to select from the premier league, the championship, league one, and also league 2.
Once you have selected your team, you get to play through entire seasons with them, playing each opposing team twice and entering into matches to decide the victor through volleying, volleying, and yet more volleying.
You may by now be aware that you’re going to be doing lots of volleying in the game, which is controlled with either the mouse or the directional controls: you get to decide which. If you choose mouse-controlled play, then you obviously control the player’s movements with the swipe of your mouse, and keyboard controls will have you using the directional arrows to move him. Shooting is always performed with either the spacebar or the mouse button. It may take some time to get used to the shooting mechanism in the game since it can feel somewhat jerky and unnatural, and often make you think that you may never make contact with the ball.
Whether this is a purposeful feature to make the game more challenging or whether the mechanic seriously needs looking at is unclear, but it has been the same throughout the series and remain so even in the most recent title.
The graphics in the Volley Challenge 2009/10 game are far from impressive unlike the most recent version – Volley Challenge 5 (2013 edition), and the sound effects do absolutely nothing to make up for the visual disappointment either. The occasional cheer when you score and dejected sounds when you miss feel like an audio Russian roulette, only occasionally working and most of the time leaving your goal or miss with absolutely no reaction at all.
The game hasn’t really changed at all since its predecessor, either; the only things that do change are the teams to reflect the current years’ league tables and fixtures. This is far from a disappointing game and it has some addictive qualities, though it won’t last you for more than a few seasons, by which time you will be yearning for something more substantial and satisfying, two properties which games like Superstar Football have as standard.