Star Player Ken Scores a Winner

The nice people at Heineken gave Póg Mo Goal a test drive of their new Star Player to play along live with the UEFA Champions League. It’s billed as the first global ‘dual screen’ Champions League football game. Póg Mo Goal’s Kie got a few of the lads round with Chelsea’s trip to Spain the match of choice and the Star Player experience proved a winner.

Valencia versus Chelsea at the Mestalla was the match I chose to use Heineken’s new Star Player app. I played on Heineken’s website but the app can be downloaded to an iPhone or iPod touch. I found the game to be really enjoyable. It was something to add an interest during the, at times turgid, first half of this Champions League tie.

The game allows fans to anticipate events unfolding on the pitch live and make second-by-second predictions in real time.

Although I was playing while watching Andreas Villas Boas’ Blues, it didn’t take too much concentration and it wasn’t distracting. At first I wanted more options to play along with but realised if it was popping up with challenges every few minutes it would soon start to take away from the game and become annoying.

When there is a free-kick or corner the app kicks into life. The options flash up to choose between a save, clearance, miss or goal with corresponding points awarded for each. There are also eight choices of whether or not a goal will be scored in the next 30 seconds of the match. So when a side is attacking and you can sense a goal you hit the button and watch the 30 seconds tick away.

I was a little premature with my guesses and saw the attacks lead to nothing. I sensed that Frank Lampard’s opener was coming soon when Chelsea were attacking in waves but didn’t guess right when he actually did find the net and was pretty demoralised when the goal went in.

I was starting to get into this game.

Two trivia questions popped up during the course of the match, of which my Slovakian ice-hockey loving friend answered both right and I got wrong which did not go down too well I can tell you.

When Lampard’s replacement Kalou handled to give Valencia a penalty in the dying moments of the game, the options flashed up to pick from top left, top right, bottom left, bottom right, miss or save.

I guessed bottom right but was persuaded into picking top left as the Slovak had been right and I had been wrong on so many other occasions during the game. Soldado slotted the ball into the bottom right corner.

It took me untill the 71st minute to wrack up a meagre 400 points and I finished on that tally for the entire 90.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t too many corners or free kick chances to play along but it was a nice feature to a Champions League match night. A couple of bottles and playing with a few mates was certainly very enjoyable.

With the option to register and win prizes, the Heineken Star Player App is a great laugh to play along with some friends and keep some interest in the, at times, dull and pedestrian group games. With added leagues that you can invite friends to join, the bragging rights will add an extra dimension to the game.

Through the ‘Interactive Champions League’, you can compete and share with your friends on Facebook and with other players around the world.

Irish fans will have a weekly chance to win a VIP trip to a UEFA Champions League match by topping the Star Player Irish league table after the two matchdays each week. You can log on to Heineken.ie and register and each week the runner up in the Star Player Irish league table will win a Heineken Fusball table.

The Heineken StarPlayer app is free and available on Heineken.ie or from the App Store now.

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