Regular Price: $39.99
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Champions 2020 has the same main mechanics as StreetSoccer (published in 2002). Both games developed parallel in the past 30 years.
While StreetSoccer simulates soccer 5-aside on a small square, Champions 2020 simulates stadium soccer. So the field is bigger. As coach you select 11 players as start line-up (goalie, defenders, midfielders, forwards), the rest of your selection starts in the dug-out for possible substitutes (after warming up).
Your professional soccer players are more skilled than street soccer players, what leads to spectacular stadium matches. Players can try to hit passing balls. Which can lead to throw-ins, corner-kicks and goalie-kicks.
As skilled team players, your players can anticipate on passes. But they are 'skilled' in fouls (or 'schwalbes') too. As soccer coach you can't always control your players ... That leads to free kicks, penalty kicks, yellow/red cards and injuries.
Your goalie is skilled too. With good positioning he has the best save chances, which depends on the speed of the shot and the distance to the ball. A rebound is possible, but a better save is catching the ball in his hands.
For tournaments the yellow/red cards, injuries, extra time, penalty kicks and stats make the soccer simulation complete. Why it plays in 2020? A few soccer rules changed before 2020 (for making the game more fluent).
Champions 2020 is an excellent evolution of the designer's earlier game, Street Soccer. Champions 2020 uses the same easy to learn and brisk-playing system as Street Soccer, but adds clear rules for intercepting passes, out of bounds, throw-ins, corner kicks, and goal-keeping. Interceptions and goal-keeping add a particularly exciting and interactive layer to the game. The components are functional, sturdy, and attractive, and the game is a good value for the price. I like Street Soccer quite a bit, but Champions 2020 really succeeds in giving players the feel of a full soccer game while remaining playable, exciting, and fun in a 60-minute game. The only improvement that I would like to see is more differentiation among the teams and players, but that might have resulted in too much complexity or added play time. Overall, I rate it 8/10. Highly recommended.
Its little brother Streetsoccer was crisp and fun, but Champions 2020 is overloaded with rules and appears fiddly and very complicated. The game play is slowed down too often and the way to shot a goal is not convincing. Sadly the game has only cardboard pieces instead of wooden meeples and seems too pricey for what it delivers. I was disappointed.