MaddenlogoIt's hard to describe the Madden series of games as a franchise anymore, they've been around so long it seems that a more appropriate way to describe the games would be the "Madden dynasty." The first Madden game appeared on the Apple II all the way back in 1989, it wasn't until Madden '94 that the real NFL teams were included, and sports gamers would have to wait another year until the real players were added. When you look back at the 20 years these games have been around, constantly improving each year, it's no surprise that Madden NFL 10 [App Store] is as good as it is.

Madden NFL 10 was one of the titles we previewed at PAX and spent some time with EA who highlighted the many features from the game.

Madden iPhone 1

First and foremost, Madden NFL 10 includes all of the NFL players, teams, and stadiums. Around 2000 players are in the game in addition to 200 free agents, and all of these players can be freely traded between teams. Whether you want to follow the real NFL trades and move players around based on the official rosters, or just turn your favorite team in to a dream team of the best players, EA says Madden NFL 10's team management can handle it.

Madden NFL 10 was specifically designed by EA's mobile team, which means it plays nicely as an iPhone game. If you get a phone call, need to answer a text message, or quit the game for some other reason, Madden NFL 10 saves the play you were on and reloads right back at the start of the play without any fumbling around with menus, intros, etc. EA also says they have really put a lot of emphasis on play time. Every cut scene, non-essential player animation, or instant replay can be skipped simply by tapping the screen. While there is a lot of fluff in the game, it's all quickly and easily skipped.

While behaving as a good iPhone app is nice, there were two other feature that I thought really stood out: Action Control Time and Hot Routes.

Madden iPhone 3Madden's "Action Control Time" seems to work so well it wouldn't surprise me if we see a lot more sports games imitating it:. When you're playing regularly, the game runs at normal speed, and while on offense you have buttons to sprint and spin. With Action Control Time enabled, however, the game slows down, and additional controls appear allowing you to do things like juking to the left or to the right. The ability to slow things down allows for extremely precise player movements and changes the game from being action oriented, to a more tactical experience as you're able to avoid tackles exactly when you need to, as well as make for the clearest path you can see to the end zone instead of just catching the ball, running forward, and mashing spin as many times as you can.

Playing defense in Action Control Time works just as well, and with it enabled you can jump for balls, dive tackle, or even go in for a big hit-- A move that has a high risk of missing, but offers a higher chance of the opposing player fumbling. Again, slowing things down allows for a much more precise defensive attack instead of just switching to whatever player is closest to the one with the ball and mashing tackle.

The other cool feature of Madden NFL 10 is "Hot Routes". Before the snap, you can press the Hot Routes button and redraw the path of any of your players with your finger on the screen, you can even make nonsensical zigzags and they will follow your every command. This takes the 300 included plays and lets you customize them any way you want.

Madden iPhone 2

Passes are controled by tapping on icons appearing above your receivers heads that range from red to green depending on how open they are. When it's time to kick, the kicking controls work just like swinging in Tiger Woods PGA Tour [App Store]. A kicking interface appears on the right hand side of the screen, you drag your finger down to determine the power, then swipe back up to determine the accuracy of where you aimed. All of the player AI, detailed player attributes, and all the other inner workings are in place to allow you to do things like simulate games when playing in season mode instead of playing through each game yourself. And If you're a football statistics nerd, there are a stupid amount of different statistics being tracked with every play you make in Madden NFL 10.

My brief time with Madden NFL 10 was spent on an iPhone 3GS, though I was assured that they've developed the game to run well across the entire iPhone and iPod Touch family. Madden NFL 10 doesn't require 3.0, although you do need it if you want to access your music from inside the game.

Here's our hands on video with the game from PAX:

We'll have the opportunity to spend more time with the game now that it's been released, but it's overall a really impressive package that we expect football fans will love. EA has also announced that a soon to come update will support "multiplayer". Madden has been launched at $7.99 as a one day sale, and will go up to the full price of $9.99 on Thursday evening.

App Store Link: Madden NFL 10, $7.99 (for one day sale).

TouchArcade Rating

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  • http://www.pocketfullofapps.com yourofl10

    so getting it when it comes out looks better than gameloft's NFL game for suire imo.

  • http://www.pocketfullofapps.com yourofl10

    so getting it when it comes out looks better than gameloft's NFL game for suire imo.

  • foolishwolf

    I cant believe this but I might actually buy this game. I really don't know why.

    • Steve

      Maybe because it is actually good. Unlike that crap that gameloft puts out (while always promising updates haha).

  • foolishwolf

    I cant believe this but I might actually buy this game. I really don't know why.

    • Steve

      Maybe because it is actually good. Unlike that crap that gameloft puts out (while always promising updates haha).

  • zeb

    Yes!!! I can't wait for this today!!! Now I have nestles rockband and this to look forward to today. Awesome!!

  • zeb

    Yes!!! I can't wait for this today!!! Now I have nestles rockband and this to look forward to today. Awesome!!

  • zeb

    I meant beatles rockband

  • Skavinger

    I don't play sports games, but I can't help but feel excited about this game.

  • zeb

    I meant beatles rockband

  • Skavinger

    I don't play sports games, but I can't help but feel excited about this game.

  • brownzfreak

    holy crap! this game looks AWESOME!! I shaking right now with sheer excitement. just looking at the video you can see that it's head and shoulders above gameloft's version. wow! if there's one game to buy this year, for me it's this game. OMG!!!

  • brownzfreak

    holy crap! this game looks AWESOME!! I shaking right now with sheer excitement. just looking at the video you can see that it's head and shoulders above gameloft's version. wow! if there's one game to buy this year, for me it's this game. OMG!!!

  • Dark NRG

    Thank god for ONE good thing (other than Gamelofts' Nova) to come out of that lame Apple event. I've been waiting for this. GO STEELERS!!!

    At least Steelers won't let me down....

  • Dark NRG

    Thank god for ONE good thing (other than Gamelofts' Nova) to come out of that lame Apple event. I've been waiting for this. GO STEELERS!!!

    At least Steelers won't let me down....

  • http://touchreviews.tk Qasim

    Goddamn! Looks and sounds 10x better then NFL 2010! Love you EA! :D

  • http://touchreviews.tk Qasim

    Goddamn! Looks and sounds 10x better then NFL 2010! Love you EA! :D

  • Dark NRG

    Tnx Hodapp for pointing out the "one day sale"!!!

  • Dark NRG

    Tnx Hodapp for pointing out the "one day sale"!!!

  • Droppin' Loads

    Too bad they don't take trade-ins for NFL 2010.

  • Droppin' Loads

    Too bad they don't take trade-ins for NFL 2010.

  • Dark NRG

    So, will this be one of the games we'll se on the New Releases on TA/appshopper first, or will be out and talked about for an hour or two before it hits appshopper?

    • Eli Hodapp

      Hard to say. I'd imagine that since they announced it was coming today at the keynote that it's going to appear any time now. There has been all kinds of weirdness with the App Store with iTunes 9, so I imagine once all the changes filter through then Madden will be available with the next app listing refresh.

  • Dark NRG

    So, will this be one of the games we'll se on the New Releases on TA/appshopper first, or will be out and talked about for an hour or two before it hits appshopper?

    • Eli Hodapp

      Hard to say. I'd imagine that since they announced it was coming today at the keynote that it's going to appear any time now. There has been all kinds of weirdness with the App Store with iTunes 9, so I imagine once all the changes filter through then Madden will be available with the next app listing refresh.

  • arn

    it's out, story updated.

    • Dark NRG

      "And there was much rejoicing...."

    • Leo

      Thanks for updating the post!! You are the first site I found with the link to the game. Awesome!

  • arn

    it's out, story updated.

    • Dark NRG

      "And there was much rejoicing...."

    • Leo

      Thanks for updating the post!! You are the first site I found with the link to the game. Awesome!

  • GodSon

    The video and Hodapp's way with words just put the icing on the cake...not to mention answered all my questions!!! ^_^

  • GodSon

    The video and Hodapp's way with words just put the icing on the cake...not to mention answered all my questions!!! ^_^

  • Charliewayz

    Madden 2010>NFL 2010. I'm glad I waited. Gameloft did a pretty good job but they can't touch the King of football Madden. 7.99, 9.99. This is one app in which i could care less what the price is.

    • Dark NRG

      Thanks! Can't wait!

    • Mystic

      If you 'waited', then how do you know anything about Gamelofts' game?

      • Ben

        I heard that it doesnt run smooth with the ipod touch 2 gen updated to 3.0 is that true? Plz email me benives21@gmail.com also whats this talk about only one season?

  • Charliewayz

    Madden 2010>NFL 2010. I'm glad I waited. Gameloft did a pretty good job but they can't touch the King of football Madden. 7.99, 9.99. This is one app in which i could care less what the price is.

    • Dark NRG

      Thanks! Can't wait!

    • Mystic

      If you 'waited', then how do you know anything about Gamelofts' game?

      • Ben

        I heard that it doesnt run smooth with the ipod touch 2 gen updated to 3.0 is that true? Plz email me benives21@gmail.com also whats this talk about only one season?

  • http://www.linkwhip.com Awesome

    "When you look back at the 20 years these games have been around, constantly improving each year,...."

    What? LOL. You must mean visually.

  • http://www.linkwhip.com Awesome

    "When you look back at the 20 years these games have been around, constantly improving each year,...."

    What? LOL. You must mean visually.

  • czarny

    Any word on how well this runs on the first-gen iPod Touch?

  • czarny

    Any word on how well this runs on the first-gen iPod Touch?

  • Dave

    Is it just me, or does it sound like they imported the crowd soundtrack from their soccer app? yuck!

    Looks fine. I don't see these graphics being leaps and bounds better than Gameloft, in fact I might prefer gameloft's. But the gameplay looks better. Expecially the slomo and call your shot routes.

    • SalsaMD

      Their soccer app, FIFA, has yet to be released...

  • Dave

    Is it just me, or does it sound like they imported the crowd soundtrack from their soccer app? yuck!

    Looks fine. I don't see these graphics being leaps and bounds better than Gameloft, in fact I might prefer gameloft's. But the gameplay looks better. Expecially the slomo and call your shot routes.

    • SalsaMD

      Their soccer app, FIFA, has yet to be released...

  • Brian

    What the.... there are FULL SCREEN ads in this game.... it forces you to Touch to Continue.... why would they do to this - I payed for the app, make it free if they force you to read their ads. ARGH!!!

  • Brian

    What the.... there are FULL SCREEN ads in this game.... it forces you to Touch to Continue.... why would they do to this - I payed for the app, make it free if they force you to read their ads. ARGH!!!

  • Patrick

    "icons appearing above your receivers heads" should be:
    "icons appearing above your receivers' heads".

  • Patrick

    "icons appearing above your receivers heads" should be:
    "icons appearing above your receivers' heads".

  • J Barbieri

    Real food for real guys!

    Look alive, Marino!

    Oh, I'm SO getting this!

  • J Barbieri

    Real food for real guys!

    Look alive, Marino!

    Oh, I'm SO getting this!

  • 2kitties1cup

    Not only does it have pop up ads, it also as a direct tv ad at the bottom of the menus. EA shouldn't be charging for an app that spams you.

  • 2kitties1cup

    Not only does it have pop up ads, it also as a direct tv ad at the bottom of the menus. EA shouldn't be charging for an app that spams you.

  • johan

    its very solid.
    now if only it had a franchise mode, with a decent rookie draft and year to year stats, etc. I might not ever get to work again.

  • johan

    its very solid.
    now if only it had a franchise mode, with a decent rookie draft and year to year stats, etc. I might not ever get to work again.

  • brownzfreak

    Had time to play it last night. It was great. It took a little time to get used to but once I got the hang of it, it was cool. You can't compare this to the PSP or other consoles because obviously the Ipod Touch is unique. The slo-mo action is truly the way to go for the virtual controller and size of the screen. I think I enjoyed creating the hot-routes for the receivers the most. All the stats you need are there. It's awesome.

    One small issue I did have was I wish the game could be played so the sleep/wake button was on the other side (right). A couple times while my player was breaking a long run my hand would inadvertently sleep the screen and I'd be tackled. I noticed that there was no play clock, offense or defense. Wish there was instant replay.

    Overall I'm excited and pleased with the gameplay and look forward to the new updates.

  • brownzfreak

    Had time to play it last night. It was great. It took a little time to get used to but once I got the hang of it, it was cool. You can't compare this to the PSP or other consoles because obviously the Ipod Touch is unique. The slo-mo action is truly the way to go for the virtual controller and size of the screen. I think I enjoyed creating the hot-routes for the receivers the most. All the stats you need are there. It's awesome.

    One small issue I did have was I wish the game could be played so the sleep/wake button was on the other side (right). A couple times while my player was breaking a long run my hand would inadvertently sleep the screen and I'd be tackled. I noticed that there was no play clock, offense or defense. Wish there was instant replay.

    Overall I'm excited and pleased with the gameplay and look forward to the new updates.

  • JoJo

    How's the play on the 3G vs 3GS? As a 3G owner, will it cut it?

  • JoJo

    How's the play on the 3G vs 3GS? As a 3G owner, will it cut it?

  • johan

    plays fine on even a 1 g touch, very smooth.

  • johan

    plays fine on even a 1 g touch, very smooth.

  • veronica

    gigity gigity

  • http://toucharcade veronica

    gigity gigity

  • http://jamesjennin.gs James

    My take on Madden NFL 10, as a software developer - http://jamesjennin.gs/content/terrible-software-action-madden-nfl-10-iphone

  • http://jamesjennin.gs James

    My take on Madden NFL 10, as a software developer - http://jamesjennin.gs/content/terrible-software-action-madden-nfl-10-iphone

  • CHUCK WARD

    WHEN I PLAY SOMETIMES IT MAKES MY PLAYER DIVE. IF I RUN PASS OR RETURN A KICK, HE GRABS THE BALL AND DIVES. I WAS HALF WAY THRU A SEASON THIS TIME WHEN THIS CRAP STARTED. CAN ANYONE HELP? E-MAIL CWARD@DBISERVICES.COM

  • CHUCK WARD

    WHEN I PLAY SOMETIMES IT MAKES MY PLAYER DIVE. IF I RUN PASS OR RETURN A KICK, HE GRABS THE BALL AND DIVES. I WAS HALF WAY THRU A SEASON THIS TIME WHEN THIS CRAP STARTED. CAN ANYONE HELP? E-MAIL CWARD@DBISERVICES.COM