Active Soccer 2019, the review

Those who grew up in the era preceding the explosion of FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer will probably remember with pleasure the distinctly arcade-style football titles that were popular in the late 80s and the first half of the 90s. No-nonsense productions like Sensible Soccer, Kick Off and Goal! they soon became a legend for an entire generation of young boys who grew up on bread and Amiga. Active Soccer 2019 it is therefore mainly aimed at that niche of nostalgics who still remember with pleasure the countless hours spent in front of a virtual football, alone or in the company of childhood friends, when the internet was still at the dawn of its existence and online multiplayer was seen as a kind of wet dream reserved for the future. Gianluca Troiano and the Spanish firm The Fox Software already have some experience in the most genuine re-proposition of arcade-style football of the past: after the chapters published in 2015 and 2016 on mobile devices and Xbox One, the Italian team is back in charge with a new version, this time destined to land. on the screens of Switch. Nintendo's hybrid console would seem to be the ideal place for a product of this nature, so let's find out more through our review.

Virtual football of yesteryear

Active Soccer 2019 offers a rich variety of teams divided as usual between the normal club teams and the national teams. Obviously there are no official licenses, to the sure advantage of the variety: in fact, we are talking about 1.250 total formations and more than 25.000 players. Also interesting is the fact that a good number of formations from the past are included in the count, because in fact a bit of healthy 80s and 90s football cannot ignore the old protagonists who made us love him. Everything is made even more nostalgic by the very fact that you can access the Team Editor. Just like in the days of Sensible Soccer, the names of the squads and individual athletes can be changed one by one to be replaced with their real counterparts. Beyond this pleasant opportunity, Active Soccer 2019 offers a very basic control system, entrusted to the four buttons of the Nintendo Switch pad for the management of the normal pass, the through ball, the cross and the shot. There is no specific input for slight contrasts, regulated by the simple marking with the left analog stick, but obviously if necessary it is possible to close the opponent's advance with a nice slide worthy of the best Paolo Maldini. In this sense, the title of The Fox Software succeeds in the purpose of entertaining with immediacy, capturing very well the spirit of the titles to which it is inspired. Simplicity which, moreover, can be modulated both by selecting the difficulty level of the opponents and by deactivating automatic dribbling and facilitated movements to have a distinct feeling in exchange. old school. During our game we could not help but find a limited reactivity of the opponent's artificial intelligence, not used to press the player during the ball possession phases. Another recurring problem we have seen is the high frequency of woods that happen to hit practically every game; a factor that presumably could be solved with the first patch already confirmed by the developers, which among other things will include improvements to the graphics sector, the raising of the resolution usable in portable mode from 900p to 1080p and an improved frame rate.

Before each match you can set a wide range of settings, especially from the point of view of the shots. The orientation of the field can be fixed vertically, horizontally or diagonally, but it is also allowed to decide at what distance and at what height to set the camera, depending on what your preferences are. The traditional one positioned vertically is still the best to bring back the challenges a Sensible Soccer. Other settings include the choice of variable weather conditions and three different game speeds. Predictably, the available modes maintain a very standard approach: in addition to the quick match and the simple tournament from a minimum of 4 to a maximum of 64 teams, you can opt for the very classic Career mode in which to take part in national and international competitions, taking care to also manage the transfers and financial movements of the company. Finally, you can access the Training section, where you can practice on the whole field or try your hand at free kicks and penalties. The highly conservative approach of Active Soccer 2019 is also evident in the management of the multiplayer that, at least for the moment, plans to try their hand only in fierce local challenges up to a maximum of four players. Tradition has also been respected for what concerns the creation of the soundtrack present in the game menus, entrusted to the care of Chris Huelsbeck. As perhaps the most "elderly" will remember, the German composer is remembered for having created the music of titles now lost in the folds of time such as Turrican and The Great Giana Sisters.


Tested version Nintendo Switch Digital Delivery Nintendo eShop Price 9,99 €


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Your vote

Active Soccer 2019 dusts off a way of living and understanding virtual football that, quite frankly, we had almost forgotten. It's a classic, no-nonsense and very limited experience, and clearly caters to a specific niche of audience; at the same time, precisely by virtue of its arcade nature, it is perfectly at ease on a platform with the characteristics of Nintendo Switch. If you are over thirty years old and want to take a dip in the past, give it a chance, you could be pleasantly satisfied.


  • It will make nostalgics happy
  • Many teams and competitions available
  • Perfect for Nintendo Switch
  • There is no online multiplayer
  • Poorly reactive opponent AI

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