Inazuma Eleven is a role-playing and sports game released for the Nintendo DS. It is the first game of the Inazuma Eleven series and was developed and published by Level 5 in Japan. It was released on August 22, 2008 in Japan and a European release was confirmed by Nintendo and the game was released on January 28, 2011 around Europe except for the UK where it was released on August 26, 2011.
The main character, Endou Mamoru, is a very talented goalkeeper of the Raimon Junior High and the grandson of one of the strongest goalkeepers in Japan, who died before he was born. Even though his skills are incredible his school lacks a real soccer club as the 6 other members don't appear very interested even in training. But as soon as a mysterious forward called Gouenji Shuuya moves to Endou's town, the young goalkeeper sets out to find and recruit members for his soccer team. There are nearly 1000 playable characters with varying skills that will determine the success of the team. The story is about the 1st season of the Inazuma Eleven series.
The game is split into two parts: one resembles an RPG, featuring various locations that Mark and his team have to explore in order to get new items, face several other players in short casual battles or to advance further in the story. The second part is the actual match: using the stylus, the player moves the soccer team around against the opposing team. The player can dodge opponent's attacks, slide-tackle to take the ball away, or use a special ability available to the characters they recruited to kick, steal and catch the ball. The result of any of his players actions are determined by seven skills, the player's affinity, and the total number of players participating in an action. Special abilities can not only be stopped with other abilities, meaning that they will most of the time win against basic tactics but not always. Super shots and Super keeps play simultaneously, which means that unlike defending the ball they always consume.
- The Layton Team, consisting of 5 characters from Professor Layton (series) (another of Level 5's franchise), can be found randomly in the Inabikari Training Center in the original Japanese game.
- The game was released late in the UK because Level 5 wanted to air the anime series before they released the game.