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  Penalty Shootout:

Penalty Shootout is a multi-level game that is based on the penalty kick stage of a football/soccer game. Players must aim virtual balls against virtual goalies, hoping to get their ball past the cartoony, pixilated opponent. Some versions of this game offer the reverse playing situation as well: you will be the goalie, trying to defend a virtual goal against kicks aimed at you by the software. Penalty Shootout can be downloaded into your hard drive, or, if you prefer not to download, you can find Flash versions of it online, as well. However, Flash play may be difficult if your Internet connection is slow. Dial-up users beware!

Furthermore, certain versions of this game allow you to role-play the part of a member of one of your favorite football teams. However, team options are limited, since these versions tend to focus on British teams.

There also appears to be another version of penalty shoot-out where gambling is involved. It is quite different from the version described previously. In gambling Penalty Shootout, five strikers will try to shoot a ball against a virtual goalie. The game will present vital information about the strikers, and based on this information, you make an educated guess about how they will perform.

Rules

As has been previously stated, Penalty Shootout focuses only on a particular stage in a football game, i.e. the penalty kicks. There will be no other players on the virtual field to worry about besides yourself and the goalie.

Once you get started with the game, you will see a small arrow or other cursor displaying the current position of your aim. You can change your aim using your arrow keys and mouse. You can also use your mouse to manipulate the strength of your kick. The longer you hold your finger on the left mouse key, the harder your virtual kick will be. Unfortunately, players cannot have it both ways. The stronger your kick, the less exact your aim will be. You will have to choose between a precise kick and a hard kick, or come to some kind of balance between the two. Once you have kicked five penalty balls past the goalie, you can move up to the next level. There are usually five levels.

In the gambling version of the game, you will play the part of a spectator rather than a player. You have no influence over how the virtual player performs, so your part is to try to make the right guess about how the striker will kick.

Penalty Shootout


Bets

Most versions of this game available online appear to be strictly for fun. No bets are involved. The game can be downloaded for free, as well. Money does not really come into the picture at all. If you really enjoy playing for money, this may sound a bit too tame for you. However, even if you are a hardened gambler, the prospect of playing a game just for fun may be refreshing.

The version that involves gambling has two main types of betting options. Firstly, you bet on whether the striker in question will be able to get a goal past the goalie. You can also make a side bet about exactly where the ball will land.

Strategies

You would do well to start by getting to know your virtual goalie. Use the initial rounds of the game to experiment. Is your goalie more vulnerable to precise shots or to powerful shots? Know your goalie’s weaknesses and strengths so that you can plan your approach. This is, after all, what real-life football champions do. However, keep in mind that the goalie’s capabilities might change as you play higher game levels.

There are other elements of real-life football strategy that you can implement in this game, one of them being tactical use of the goal area. First, check to see what your virtual goalie does at the end of every shot. Does the virtual goalie remain in the spot where he or she was at the time the previous shot was over? If so, try to use successive shots to “block” the goalie into one end of the goal area, then aim the next shot at the opposite end. Otherwise, if the goalie automatically returns to the center of the goal area, aim for spots on the periphery.

As for the gambling version of this game, you should try to have a solid background about football, so that you can make accurate interpretations of the data presented to you about each player.

Playing Experience

This game should go over well with football fans, especially those who are fans of British teams. Of course, it does not have the complexity of other football-based games, because you will only be manipulating one player, and will be focusing on penalty kicks rather than “normal” goals. As such, players who prefer making complex strategic decisions involving a full team may be somewhat disappointed by this game. Then again, the relative simplicity of penalty kicks may make a nice break from the relatively crowded fields of other stages of a normal football game.

The fact that this game is played strictly for fun is also a huge part of the playing experience. Unless the prospect of winning or losing money is absolutely essential to your enjoyment of a game, you might find the lack of a gambling aspect in Penalty Shootout rather fun. If you are not worrying about how much money you might be losing, you will have an easier time concentrating on your aim and strategy. The fact that this is not a gambling game also opens it up to a wider audience. Any young children in your household, or other people who are not supposed to gamble, can also enjoy this game.

As you have probably guessed, the experience of playing the gambling version of this game is rather different. In some senses, it is rather more passive, since you will not be aiming any balls at a goalie. Then again, avid football fans can get thrills out of analyzing player statistics, and betting a little cash on whether they have guessed right.

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