Surprisingly enough, Gameloft’s NFL 2010 [App Store] came out tonight, only a couple days after it was first revealed. It truly is the App Store’s first full football simulation, complete with NFL teams, players, and stadiums.
Inside the game are four modes of play: Quick Play, which just tosses you in to a game with your favorite team (set in the options), as well as the self-explanatory Exhibition, Season, and Playoffs modes. All NFL teams are included, and each are vaguely rated in their overall offensive and defensive power. Graphics are good for an iPhone game, especially considering how many players are on screen moving at once, and the sound can be incredibly immersive. The crowd cheers constantly, and the game comes with an announcer that provides a constant (although sometimes inaccurate) play by play.
Reactions on our forums seem largely positive so far, with most forum members agreeing that the controls are the weak link in the NFL 2010 chain. The game is controlled utilizing an on-screen virtual joystick and an array of buttons depending on what you’re doing on the field. Most of the problems with the controls seem to be largely due to the lack of precision inherent in touch screen buttons not having any kind of tactile feedback.
One thing that I thought worked really well in the game is throwing the ball. When you select a throwing play, after the snap various shapes show up that can be touched to throw the ball to the corresponding player. These symbols change from red to green depending on how likely each player is to catch the ball. Also, instead of cycling through which player you’re controlling with a button, tapping any character on screen selects them to be controlled.
Like most of these highly ambitious titles for the iPhone, they come with a decent amount of both good and bad things about them. It is really cool to be able to play as any of the NFL teams with the players on my phone, and the way passing works is great. Still, the controls could use some work, and the announcer isn’t perfect by any means and can get repetitive. Regardless, NFL 2010 is now the best game on the App Store right now for football fans with a surprising amount of improvements already planned in a future update. Gameloft lists a number of features for the next update including full online, bluetooth, and WiFi multiplayer as well as Gameloft Live, YouTube replay uploads, and even a “Zombies vs Skeletons" special match.
App Store Link: NFL 2010, $7.99