Sport SKL is a new Facebook game from AccuScore, a company primarily known for its sports statistics tracking and predictions. The new game allows players to test their sporting knowledge across a variety of disciplines and challenge their friends to see who knows the most about their favorite sports, and who can make the most accurate predictions about upcoming real-world matches.
The game covers English Premier League soccer, college football, the NFL and the NBA. The MLB will reportedly be incorporated into the game in time for the new season. Upon starting the game for the first time, players pick a favorite sport and a team to support, and questions will focus around that particular team when possible. Players who enjoy a variety of sports have the option to unlock the other disciplines through play. Gameplay is split into two main components at this time, with more to come over time.
Firstly, 4Cast lists a series of upcoming matches in the chosen discipline, and players must then make up to four predictions on what will happen in the match. This is achieved by playing “cards” which contain statements such as “Team A will beat Team B” or “Player X will score at least one goal.” In order to assist players with their predictions, a “Seer” powerup is available, which displays odds from AccuScore of the prediction being true. It costs soft currency to play this powerup. Players are also able to spend hard currency to unlock additional possible predictions to choose from.
Buzzer Beater, meanwhile, challenges players to show their knowledge of various matches that their chosen team participated in. A series of true/false questions are displayed at the bottom of the screen, and players must get three correct in order to win some soft currency. As time passes, the prize value of the answers declines and a number of “hints” appear at the top of the screen. These take the form of six different facts about the match in question, but do not give all the answers. A number of different powerups are available for this mode, ranging from increased time limits to giving players an extra “wrong answer” before losing a round. Some cost soft currency to play, others hard.
Both games may be played either solo or against other players. Rewards are generally greater for playing against others, sharing results to Facebook Walls or sending challenges.
The game also features a quest system known as “Contracts.” By signing a contract, players can receive rewards for completing various objectives such as playing or winning a certain number of games. Unfortunately, it’s not always obvious when new contracts have arrived (save for an icon on the main menu screen), and players’ progress towards completing an objective isn’t registered until they have specifically accepted the contract in question from a separate menu.
This is just one of a number of elements which detract from the experience somewhat. For example, when tested in both Chrome and Firefox, the buttons to switch sound and music on and off didn’t always work as intended. Sometimes background music won’t turn off, sometimes it stops after a single loop and sometimes a second track starts playing over the top of the first, creating a cacophony that requires the system volume to be lowered to get rid of.
Alongside this, the in-game text could do with some proofreading to ensure it fits within interface elements. Certain team names are too long for the available space and spill outside the boxes they’re supposed to be in, and some contract text is too long for the objective display. Certain game mechanics are just plain buggy, too — for example, if a “Level Up” popup appears while starting a game, it becomes impossible to dismiss, requiring a refresh of the page.
These factors are more a lack of polish than total deal-breakers, however, as the game itself offers a deep experience tailored for hardcore sports fans of various disciplines — especially since much of the content is based on up-to-date statistics and facts. The game offers a swathe of viral, social and monetization features, so with a little cleaning up of these user experience flaws and bugs, Sport SKL has the potential to find a loyal, if specialist, audience.
Once the various bugs and user experience issues are ironed out, Sport SKL has the potential to find a lucrative niche on Facebook among hardcore sports fans.