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La presse parle de KiCKeT!


Article original de Joachim Roehrig du “Kölner Stadtanzeiger".
Traduit de l'allemand par Sabine J. Bridges

Lawn chess with wooden players

What do most football simulation games have in common? Of course, they are played with the hands. A creative brain from Neu-Bottenbroich wants to change that with his game.


No matter whether it’s Tipp-Kick for the kitchen table, table football in the local bar, or Fifa 13 for Playstation: all the popular football simulations have one thing in common – they are played with hands, not feet. A creative brain from Neu-Bottenbroich wants to change all that. With a revolutionary invention he wants to put the football playing world back on its feet: KiCKeT is the brainchild of Ralf Paul. The 41 year old tested his invention on Saturday with the first KiCKeT tournament in the world in the community hall in Neu-Bottenbroich.

In his full-time job, Ralf Paul is a well-known comic designer and illustrator. Together with his brother Guido, who lives in Sweden, he manages the design agency “Ideenschmiede Paul&Paul”. Ralf Paul drew the “Domspitzen”, a Cologne city guide in comic format. “After having done nothing but draw all my life, I wanted to do something tangible”, explains Paul. “As I have always been fascinated by board games and football, it just resulted in this football simulation”.

One thing is clear from the first glance at KiCKeT: the creator of the game understands a lot about design, marketing and production. From the wooden game figures, the hand-sewn mini leather ball and many accessories to the shipping box, KiCKeT is professionally and caringly done and thought through in every detail. In regard to style, Paul counts on the retro look which is cherished by many football fans. The direction is already clear with the KiCKeT advertising slogan “Football is coming home to your garden”.

An approximately 6x9 feet living room floor is big enough for the small KiCKeT version with two players and a goalie. But in his imagination the developer sees the main playing areas for his “party fun game” on natural grass in a park, the lawn at home, or asphalt lots in town. There KiCKeT is played with four players and a goalie on a 30x15 feet field.

Football players on wooden bases

The creative idea is that Paul has mounted his approximately 20 cm tall wooden players on round bases. With these the figures can be maneuvered by foot across the field and into tactically correct position. The first step is always to position one’s figure close to the ball. That gives the player kicking rights and he can now risk a shot to the goal, a cross or a pass to a better positioned wooden figure. If the ball stops too far away from his own figure, he loses his turn and the opponent gets to move.

These are only the basic moves of course. So that the game can really “roll”, Ralf Paul has developed an intricate book of rules. It was clear during the Neu-Bottenbroich tournament that -as with all challenging games - players need a certain familiarization time. Once the basic principles are understood however, a real football atmosphere follows. KiCKeT is no game of movement, rather enjoyment for technicians and tacticians, as each action requires thought about the next step and the one after that. In that regard Paul describes his game KiCKeT as a football specific mixture of chess and billiard.

Until now, there are only eight handmade KiCKeT prototypes, but the inventor has big plans. Via special online portals like kickstarter.com, Paul wants to interest investors in his game and acquire money for the production in a bigger way. At trade fairs, he has also made contacts with major toy manufacturers. “I would like to keep both production and distribution of KiCKet in my hands. After all, eight years of development and blood, sweat and tears are involved.” Ralf Paul’s role model is Edwin Mieg, who 80 years ago launched Tipp-Kick and
whose family owned company still produces the game today.

German only:

"Action-Strategie für Gartenkicker [...]
...Die Jungs basteln schon seit einigen Jahren an ihrem großen Traum, die ultimative Fussballsimulation zu kreieren. [...] Bei KiCKeT! treffen also Tipp-Kick, FIFA 13, Bundesliga-Manager und echtes Ballgefühl aufeinander." (Libero Doc Abstracto für Tric Trac)

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