An American football game, although it usually lasts more than three hours, contains only about 15 to 20 minutes of action. There’s a lot of waiting, scrambling, chattering, huddles, lining up, shouting, staring, more shouting, then an inevitable whistle so there can be a long chat with the trainer, no more grinding, lining up and screaming. When the ball is finally slammed, the actual game lasts what, 10 seconds?
And then, while everyone else spins again, it’s time for us to watch those 10 seconds of slow-motion slow-motion action from 14 different angles that can last several minutes. Hence the three hour play time.
This Cleverly Named Physics-Based Early Access Football Simulator soccer simulator (opens in a new tab)-100% nails that aspect of the game but makes it way more fun than the real thing because the physics are quite amazing. Not amazing because they’re so realistic, but amazing because they’re not realistic at all and therefore hilarious. Like Madden, Football Simulator is an on-pitch football game where you control the QB and call plays, but the physics are so goofy and fun that I spend most of my time like I do with real professional football: watching replays in slow motion. Only in Football Simulator I enjoy every moment of it.
Honestly, it’s hard to finish playing a single game, because even during a routine game, something weird and wonderful almost always happens, which makes me watch the replay a dozen times:
It’s just an incomplete pass that wouldn’t even require a replay – except the ref runs, steps on the ball, turns back, then stumbles over a fallen player’s foot, looks legitimately die, briefly performs some sort of swimming animation, then sprawls over another player who gets up and pushes the fallen corpse of the referee into his face. How can you not watch this again and again from six different angles? (Note: the referee is not dead.)
One of the best things that can happen is when the game’s unseen math decides that the game you’ve run is successful, but the game’s Three Stooges physics engine certainly doesn’t agree with that assessment, but does its best to make it work anyway. Below you can see the very first successful achievement I made in my first game, and it’s a beauty. Here is the replay in slow motion:
Yes, it is definitely a valid and successful passing game in the sport of real football. My quarterback wobbles with his sword arm as four guys push him to the center of the earth. Just before he’s crushed to death under a thousand pounds of sweaty football beef, he gets thrown an inch off the turf using (apparently) just the power of his fingers. The ball spirals towards the receiver who has run maybe a yard tilt and is now standing still with his arms outstretched waiting for the pass, which is the proper way to catch soccer balls. The pass hits him at the level of the shins, levitates, then hovers at the level of the cock for a few moments before being magnetized in his hand. At this point, the receiver performs the rest of the game, which is called “panicking then immediately getting pancaked”.
Physics isn’t just limited to the terrain. We see it all the time in real football when a player runs or gets kicked out of bounds and in the crowd of seemingly thousands of football team employees who are somehow all needed to stay on the job. away so that football can take place. These non-players are jostled, jostled, and occasionally knocked down. The same thing happens in Football Simulator. Play your cards right and you can knock out a bowling formation of those coaches who presumably have some sort of football-related job but appear to be doing nothing but watching the game from an inch away.
And Football Simulator’s wonky, noodly physics don’t just involve players, referees and the deadpan gang of half-coaches lurking on the sidelines. In season mode, you can play as the king coach of the football team to experience the management side of the sport and explore the facilities during the off-season like the training ground, gymnasium, auditorium and offices .
While you do this, the full football physics are activated. Here I am, a professional football coach, showing up for work the day I’m coaching professional football, like a professional.
It’s going to be a great season, I can say that. That is, if I ever manage to draft a team and manage it, because I’m too busy diving on couches, knocking over cheerleaders and players, throwing broomsticks and be completely defeated by stairs.
Football Simulator is pure joy of wonky physics and a welcome relief from the Madden series juggernaut. It is currently in early access on Steam (opens in a new tab), where future features include online multiplayer, the ability to “walk around the stadium between games” and even engage in physics-based brawls with unruly fans. It even provides a VR mode! It could just have me strapping on a helmet so I can strap on a helmet that will be knocked down when I bump into a ragdolling referee as he knocks himself down in the middle of a room.