Since EA took their year off from the FIFA series on the Android platform, one would think they needed the time to regroup and come up with a highly polished product ready to satisfy all the football fans around the globe. Well, they came up with a freemium game that doesn’t look very promising.
Not to sound completely negative, FIFA 14 does feature 33 leagues, over 600 licensed teams and around 16.000 players. Graphics are nice and it runs smoothly on nearly all dual-core devices. The speech pack (that you will have to download from within the game) is also nice and you can choose from 5 different languages, English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. The new touch controls optimized for tablets and phones will help you win the matches easier, but they do feel a bit passive when interacting with your team. The classic mode is also here if you prefer it, but there is zero support for external gamepads.
Now on to the bad parts. You can install FIFA 14 from the play store for free (weights around 1.35 GB’s) and it will allow you to play 3 of the 6 game modes instantly. The “Ultimate Team” where you build your dream team, purchase and trade players, cards and stuff like that, should satisfy you on the long run. The “Games of the Week” mode allows you to take control of one team from the real-world fixtures that are constantly updated. The 3rd mode is the “Penalty shootout”. Now, in order to play the three extra modes, Manager, Tournament, and Kick Off, you will have to pay $6.06. That would be fine if the game didn’t require constant refueling of the premium currency (FIFA Points) that you will need to make progress with your “Ultimate Team”. Ads are also popping out now and then, but never during the matches.
The real reason why Android users were left out from the series in 2013 is the “secret” arrangement EA did with Apple and decided not to release the game on any other mobile platform. Ok, now it’s back, all is forgotten, but where is the multiplayer mode? If piracy was the problem, now with all the IAPs and in-game-purchases, should not be the case anymore. Especially since you also need to log in to Origin servers in order to play. We already have another IAPs filled football game on the Play Store that can be downloaded for free as well and it seems that Gameloft devs were patiently waiting for the release date of FIFA 14 to introduce the new unlimited multiplayer mode. Checkmate.
UPDATE: Removed from the Play Store.