With the Madden series faltering in the mobile space the past few years, there aren't a whole lot of options for gamers looking for an American football fix on the go. If you're not in the market for a simulation-style game, then developer Run Games' Football Heroes [Free] is one of the best football games out there. It's an extremely over-the-top, arcadey game of football, but the most important thing is that it's a heck of a lot of fun. It launched last November and has seen several updates in the months since, but Run Games had been hard at work on something big for Football Heroes, and this week a massive update went live for the game officially rebranding it as Football Heroes 2015. Just in time for the NFL season!

The full log of what's new is extensive, and you can read all about it in the update notes in the App Store, but one of the biggest and most anticipated new additions is the arrival of a new Gold tier of player cards. Previously you could only get Bronze or Silver players, so an influx of over 100 new Gold player cards should really spice up your team's lineup. In addition, all player cards now have a rarity associated with them so you can know more easily how valuable they are.

Another major change, one that I'm still not sure how I feel about, is a Retirement mechanic. Once a player card is capped out, that player will eventually "retire" and their stats will be drastically reduced. Technically you can keep them on your team but… there's no real reason to. Pretty much you'll want to ditch them and replace them with a different card and start leveling that player up.

The idea behind the Retirement thing is solid: Football Heroes is the type of game where you're striving to level up your players and put together the strongest team possible. Once you do that, though, there's no real incentive to use other players, and instead you might just stick with your beefed up team for eternity. It can get a bit stale, so Retirement is a nice way to make you switch things up every now and then. On the flip side, it's hard pouring so much time and effort into leveling up your favorite cards only to have them eventually retire and become useless. It's a sticky subject, and players in our forums have been voicing their feedback about it which Run Games have been happily taking in. But for now, the Retirement mechanic will stay as it is. I'd love to know what other players' feelings are towards it so feel free to sound off in the comments.

Finally, this update officially makes Football Heroes a Universal app, but only the iPhone version has been updated. If you're an iPad player and have been playing Football Heroes HD [Free (HD)], you're going to want to follow the developer's steps laid out in this post in order to transfer over your progress to the new Universal version of the game. Going forward, it sounds like the new Universal version will be the only version getting updates, with the iPad-only version being, well, retired.

FBH_New_1 FBH_New_2

Like I said, there is so, so much more that's new in Football Heroes than what I've talked about here, like new Coin Battles, a new Fantasy division, new perks and so much more, so be sure to check the update notes to see all the nitty gritty. What's important though is if you played Football Heroes to death over this past year, be sure to give the 2015 version a spin because it's a totally refreshed experience now. If you've never checked out the game before and you're an American football fan, you have to download and try Football Heroes 2015 as it's an absolute blast and is considerably better after this major update. Oh one more thing: online multiplayer is still planned but didn't make it in time for this update, but keep an eye out for news on that in the near future.

  • oscar123967

    Really is a shame that they added the retirement mechanic. Its hard seeing your best players (that you spent money & countless hours on) walk away.

    • anabolicMike

      Here's the question. Do you have to pay a pile of real money to get your arcs all levelled up and awesome? And then when they retire do you lose all that coin? Or so you get some kinda reimbursement? That's almost like spending real money on equipment just to have it have a durability scale that no matter what goes down every fight.

      "Wow look at my super axe of +13 slaying! Cost me 19.99 but it's worth it cause now I level like a boss! ....four fights later... What? It's gone! It broke into a million pieces? But I paid 19.99 for that!?! Woah what's this? a super mace of +13 slaying! On sale for 18.99? ITS MINE! It's go time! Woooooooowoooooo pull over that ass to fa.... What? Three fights later? What????"

      You know what I'm saying yo.

      • oscar123967

        The whole point of this video game is to acquire the best cards to make the best team. Its like working your behind off for a degree, then having it taken away from you or degrade it in some sort of fashion. Idk, but keep in mind this is a video game. This mechanic isnt for me

  • ODMay

    I like this game but there's still no online play. Before this update, in the description, it said online multiplayer was coming soon. On a side note, this updated turned my RB silver card to a gold card.

  • NOEN

    It would be cool to see you retired players go into some sort of "Hall of Fame League". They way you really don't have to say goodbye to them and can still use them. Just a thought.

  • Michael A. Marzola

    When a player retires you can still play with the retired player, but their stats and abilities are reduced. This is unlike other Mobile sports games like Fifa, Madden or Big-Win Football - where your players become unusable and they are removed from your roster (requiring you to get new players). In Football Heroes you can continue to play with your Retired Players forever if you wish.

    Online Multiplayer is actively being worked on and has made major improvements in the last couple months. Online Multiplayer has functional for a long time, but it has not been 'fun' until recent versions. We will release online multiplayer in the live product once it is a near lag-free experience. Thanks for your patience and please head to the Football Heroes thread on the Touch Arcade forums to discuss any feedback you have directly with me and the rest of our team. We take your opinions seriously and know that Football Heroes would not be as much fun without the feedback from the the Touch Arcade community

    Thank You

    - Michael from Run Games

    • Jake7905

      Leveling up a player to it's max stats should yield a reward, not a reduction of stats or forced retirement. At least give us some kind of coin reward for retiring a player. Before, the card packs felt like DLC, and along with the coin doubler, made for a pretty sweet free-to-play game. But now it feels like the card packs are consumable IAP, with a limited shelf life.

      • Michael A. Marzola

        A coin reward for retiring a player is a great idea! We will definitely work this into a future update. Thanks for the feedback. We will continue to monitor this system and hope you will be patient with us as we iterate on the changes.

      • Xaintrix

        I have been on the fence on investing time and money in this game but I'm really tempted now. While I understand the retirement system's place I really support the previous poster's idea at incentivizing the player for getting their players to that point. That would probably be my tipping point.

        Maybe a smaller per player award and then some sort of player's association award to the coach for getting x players to retirement for something extra.

        Either way I appreciate the developer communication. It goes a long way in influencing my purchasing.

      • Jake7905

        Thanks for listening, that coin reward update will go a long way alleviating my fears of retirement. Think of it as the "golden watch" retirement gift.

  • Rashanii

    The move from the original to 2015 didn't work for me, and I lost all of my players as well as my coin doubler. It also will no longer start, it just says that it is trying to connect to Run Games. I'm not very pleased.