Initial Shootout: A Trivia Game For Football Geniuses (and FM Fans)


    I have to say that when the powers that be at the Higher Tempo Press asked me to review a new game called Initial Shootout, I wasn’t keen. In fact, it took a lot of persuading on their part for me to do it. I am strictly a one-game-at-a-time sort of guy.

    I am a self-confessed Football Manager addict whose only other gaming during my hectic schedule is bailing my son out on FIFA in cup finals or derby matches. Eventually, I caved and played the game. Firstly I will tell you a bit about the background to the game and then my honest assessment of what it is like to play.

    Designed With A Pub Quiz Feel

    Initial Shootout AdAccording to the creator, the game idea started after a few beers between two brothers, quizzing each other on footballer initials. The idea was developed further while maintaining the pub quiz feel, with simple game modes that are quick to play.

    The game features a large database of players, which leads to amusing moments when an old player name resurfaces from the back of the memory.

    There are shareable statistics to link to friends giving the social element you need with a quiz.  Daily Challenge and Classic Mode primarily involve naming players with the initials provided. However, for true geniuses, speed becomes a factor (quicker you answer, the better the score).

    11 a-side Challenge works differently; it is left to the players to argue with their friends whose team is better. The creator hopes for 11 a-side teams to start showing up on Twitter accompanied by passionate arguments in the reply sections debating which team would win.

    Maybe our readers can help with that?  Twitter: @InitialShootout

    Some feedback has suggested the game is too difficult but the creator is reluctant to change it as they want to target geniuses that have spent extensive time immersed on FM looking at names. Future improvements will be made; although it probably will not be made much easier.

    The classic mode was slightly tough

    initial shootout classic modeI knew very little about this game but headed straight into classic mode without doing the practice, which was a big mistake. I was confronted with a box with two letters and wasn’t sure what I had to do.

    After doing the practice, it became far more straightforward. The game was to identify a player with the initials of the letters in the box. Considering I have good football knowledge (having written about the game for a decade and a half, yes, I am that old!) I have to say I found this tough – although, as the creator states, that is the point.

    However, I did manage to get most of the players before the two-minute timer ran out on the game. Maybe I was having an off day. It was a good challenge, though, and some may enjoy it. This mode was not for me, as I played this game before I even had my first coffee of the day.

    Still, I think FM fans would enjoy this mode.  It is nice to play a quiz game like that that is a true challenge and knowing FM players I can see most of could find it quite addictive, especially if playing with friends in a ‘pub quiz’ style.

    The Classic mode also has a Quickfire challenge function.  This is a 1v1 game mode where you can complete a ‘Classic’ game and send a link to a friend to challenge them to beat your time. Perfect for some light entertainment at the pub.

    I enjoyed the 11 A-Side challenge mode

    initial shootout 11-a-side modeThe 11 A-side challenge was more enjoyable for me. You are given ten minutes to pick an eleven based on 11 boxes with an initial which will be the first letter of a footballer’s name, past or present.

    At the start, you are given the option to pick a formation, which was a nice touch. I played a few rounds of this mode. I even came up with some names from the dim and distant past that the game recognised.

    I played this game a few times, and the longest it took me to fill all 11 spaces was around 6 minutes and 30 seconds. However, I believe I could better that score when I am not half asleep.

    It did take a bit of thinking, but when I filled in all 11 boxes, I have to admit I was highly proud of myself, even if I did have to use the likes of Craig Short and Cherno Samba as my picks.

    I did okay on the Daily Challenge

    initial shootout daily challenge modeThe third and last mode of the game was called the Daily Challenge. You have two minutes to name three players from, once again, the initial given in the box. In this one, you had the luxury of hints, such as the nationality of the player. You can use one of two possible hints. A hint also tells you which club the player played for and between what years.

    I did okay in this challenge, as I answered the first two in about 30 seconds, only for the last one to force me to pull my hair out!

    I thought I would never guess who MB was, the Czech player who featured for Liverpool between 2002-2005. By the way, it was Milan Baros. I only realised afterwards that I typed Milos Baros and not Milan Baros.

    Unfortunately, I rage quit before the two minutes were up, so I had to realise my mistake myself, and that is my fault and not the fault of the game developers.


    initial shootout logoOverall, the Initial Shootout was a good little way to pass the time, if you have any free time, that is. It is a relatively simple and uncomplicated game once you start playing.

    As many Football Manager fans have extensive football knowledge, this game will appeal to some of the game’s fanbase.

    Will I be playing Initial Shootout again? Yes, but I certainly won’t let it get in the way of me playing Football Manager. Then again, only natural disasters and the better half gets in the way of that, so that doesn’t say much.

    It is definitely a game I would play with friends, especially fellow FM players.  It is a good game to play on the move or any time you have 5 minutes to kill.

    Have you ever played Initial Shootout, and what are your thoughts on the game?  Let us know on Twitter.