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Headmaster

I never would have thought that an entire game could be designed around performing headers in football, but that’s the basis of Frame Interactive’sHeadmaster. Yes, the football technique that you’ll see Sergio Ramos performing regularly is pretty much the entire game. While it’s easy to assume that it’ll be one mini-game stretched out way too thin, there’s actually plenty of depth in this non-concussive alternative to hitting a soccer ball with your head.

Taking place in a prison-like establishment called the Football Improvement Centre, Headmaster forces players to pass a series of tests (all involving headers) in order to graduate. It’s an absolutely insane premise, but it’s a fascinating one that is told over a series of notes in-between levels and dialogue before and after levels. The story takes some interesting twists as the game progresses, and it’s one of the most surprising elements of the game.

Each level has the player trying to earn points in order to pass the test. This is typically done by hitting a soccer ball in a specific part of the net and hitting a marker or going through a ring. These levels start off simple enough, with the first stage featuring an empty net, but quickly begin to include hazards to deal with as well. One of the earliest ones that are introduced is the “dreaded keeper,” which is just a cardboard cut-out of a goalie. The voice over the stadium’s loudspeaker (who runs the Football Improvement Centre) goes on and on about how the player is paralyzed in fear and that this course is to help the striker get over his phobia.