EA Sports Football Academy review

The curious game

GamesRadar+ Verdict


  • +

    Certainly a new approach to footie

  • +

    Well-presented with full license

  • +

    Strangely compelling


  • -

    Only text-based matches

  • -

    Some test get tiresome

  • -

    Overall just kind of dull

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Someone at EA has taken the concepts of Panini stickers, Top Trumps, David Beckham’s footy school and a Question of Sport and somehow moulded them into this frankly bizarre DS title. The game’s remit is essentially to improve your football knowledge and, in an outstanding piece of timing, ex-Chelsea gaffer Luiz Felipe Scolari is on hand to help you along the way.

Your knowledge of the sport is scrutinised with tests (minigames, really) about its different areas. There are 14 in total, challenging you on everything from kit and badge recognition to clubs’ geographical location and players’ nationalities. You can take a Football IQ Test involving three of the minigames to earn a Player Pack and determine your team’s chemistry levels.

Players have Top Trumps-style stats attributed to them and any better players you earn in the packs can be subbed into the team, with excess personnel dumped into a trade pile or discarded. You can also trade players with your mates over Wi-Fi. Out on the pitch it’s all text-driven – there’s no actual playing – and your players go up against the opposition in stat battles to determine whether passes make it, goals are scored and so on.

We’re not quite sure what to make of it, to be honest. It’s well-presented, fully licensed and oddly compelling if you’re a fan of the game, but at the same time it’s rather dull – the last time we played a text-based football game was on the ZX81. Some of the tests get tiresome pretty quickly, too. It’s worth a look and will improve your knowledge of European football, but we’d rather be playing PES.

Apr 14, 2009

More info

DescriptionDespite being a little dull, this fully licensed football title is oddly compelling in its unique approach.
US censor rating""
UK censor rating"3+"
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)