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Hopeless: Football Cup review – keep hope alive!

Developer: Upopa GamesDownload: Android
Genre: SportsPrice: Free (with in-app purchases)

Upopa Games' Hopeless series is a breath of fresh air among the heap of faceless, bland, sugar-coated extortion schemes masked as games. They boast a distinct art style and a refined gameplay formula that nails the golden recipe for success in mobile - "simple, but challenging". Hopeless: Football Cup joins Hopeless: The Dark Cave and Hopeless: Space Shooting just in time for the ongoing world cup, and goes about bringing the series' signature elements to the football pitch. If you have played The Dark Cave, then you know exactly what to expect. Hopeless: Football Cup is the most horror-themed sports game in existence, although the horror is mostly hilarious, and the sport is an amusingly awkward game of dodge-ball.

Just like in Upopa's other titles, you play as a yellow blob, but this time you are unarmed. More defenseless than ever, yellow blob and his fellow blobs stand on a dim football pitch. Vicious footballs emerge from the unknown and attack from the dark corners, turning the blobs into mush on impact. To survive in the deadly football field, you'll need to take finger-swipes at the flying dangers, using skills honed from similar swipe-centric games like Fruit Ninja. The gameplay is as simple and clean as that, which is an important part of the Hopeless series' addictiveness and goofy charm. Although the formula is very limited, and the mechanics are engineered to make sure you get hit a LOT, somehow Hopeless: Football Cup is always fun to play. It gives you a sense of accomplishment each time you manage to head-butt more balls than your last try and score more tickets to buy power-ups.

Now is the time and place to confirm that Upopa's games are a bit heavy on in-app purchases, but they are reasonably priced, and there isn't a storyline to be hindered by an inability to continue playing unless you pay. The studio has made sure you can enjoy its games any time you want without its money-making getting in the way. Cheers to that.

Like the other Hopeless games, Football Cup delivers on the graphics and sound fronts. The artwork is hilarious, the animations are fluid, and the assets are of good quality. With that given, the interface icons are very poor and stick out as a sore thumb alongside the awesome visuals. But you won't be really looking at them while you're playing, so we don't consider them detrimental to the presentation – just something Upopa should work on to add a final coat of polishing. Sound-wise, there's something about the percussion noises in the background that just keeps you on pins and needles while you're waiting for the next ball to jump at you from out of nowhere. That such a simple game evokes such a tangible emotional response is a testament to good design and solid gameplay.

Overall, Hopeless: World Cup is THE football game to play in advertising breaks during the world cup. And if the Hopeless games are anything to judge by, Upopa is a very talented studio, whose upcoming games - The Herd, Mutation Mash, and XXXX, are going to be a blast. Keep your sights on them if you happen to fall for any of the Hopeless games.


  • Awesome design
  • Solid gameplay
  • Original concept


  • Too hardcore if you hate losing often
PhoneArena rating:

Developer: Upopa GamesDownload: Android
Genre: SportPrice: Free (with in-app purchases)


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