It's frustrating being a post-millennial football fan. Topsy turvy teamsheets, managers who can't make their minds up, players who
seem more interested in scoring off the pitch than on it, not to mention egotistical referees who flounce about brandishing cards
like Paul Daniels on steroids.
Maybe that's why we were so impressed by the new and exclusive signing to Firebox Utd., Mr Soccer, as this hi-tech footie game is
played by RC robots that do exactly what they're told. And the person doing the telling is you! The idea is to manoeuvre your
dribbling droids around the pitch via a nifty transmitter. Using the controller's forward, reverse, left, right and shoot buttons
the object is to score more goals than your opponent. Yes, we know that's flippin' obvious, but judging by some recent
international performances we thought it was worth reiterating.
One-on-one is fun (which is just as well because that is what's in the starter pack) but you don't need Abramovich's riches to
augment your robo-squad. Simply purchase additional Mr Soccer robots and you can play up to seven-a-side. With fourteen robots on
the pitch the game can become more confusing than an Eriksson formation/Garth Crooks interview combined, but that just adds to the
manic fun - especially if you and your team mates have been down the local before the match.
It's true you won't be able to bend it like Beckham but then most of us are more Ron 'Chopper' Harris than Stanley 'Wizard of the
Dribble' Matthews when Saturday comes.
Better still, these highly desirable droids come in England and Brazil colours, so you can make like Micro Owen or Roboto Carlos.
The R2D2-esque droids are surprisingly agile, they can spin on a sixpence ( that's 2.5 pence in 'new money' ), and you can even
change their boots - well, plastic feet - to cater for different skill levels. If you fancy a warm-up you can flip the pitch for
training purposes and perfect your robotic runs around a special maze.
Once the game gets underway the atmosphere is truly electric (all right, battery operated) as you compete amidst a cacophony of
electronic crowd noise. Entertaining? Does Sven look like Mr Burns off the Simpsons? Course it is! Think table football meets
Subbuteo in the year 3000 and you're halfway there.
We really can't overstate just how spectacularly entertaining Mr Soccer is, particularly when your squad is operating at its full,
seven side strength. In fact, to paraphrase Gazza, 'We never make predictions, and we never will' but we think Mr Soccer is going
to be absolutely massive! Goaaaal!