Yes, it’s true. A game that is completely incognito to the average consumer is currently dominating the NFL scene on mobile. How? Well, let me take you back to the glorious year of 2005.

It’s (probably) just another day for you. You may even be spending this relatively normal day playing the NFL’s crown jewel franchise: Madden. It’s in a heated battle with 2K, and is vying for NFL market supremacy. You’re just chilling out, like you would in 2005, when the news, which shocks millions to this day, came out: EA bought the exclusive NFL license. It baffled many at the time, and still does. The ensuing years would play out like an army winning a war, but taking a rather dishonorable path to victory nonetheless: EA retained its expected high quality for years after the Battle for Exclusive Rights. But, eventually, it got too cocky, and decided to charge at its enemy head-on. It would instead inflict heavy casualties on its own civilians, or, in this case… the consumers. Ultimate Team. It has ruined the wallets of many innocent people. (With addictive personalities.) Hopefully, this will change with the arrival of 2K on the scene once more, as well as Axis and Maximum Football. Also, you can try one of the best live dealer casinos. But, for now, EA has won the War For Profits, and won i t handily. This is where Retro Bowl comes in, ladies and gentlemen.

Since that day in 2005, EA has slowly ruined NFL gaming by monetizing it, and making sure that any uprising or lawsuit against its tactics is crushed. Core gameplay is overlooked. The average MUT fan will spend thousands a year and wonder where their lights went… it is anarchy. Retro Bowl is trying to reinstate a deep experience, with the closest thing a small studio (on mobile, mind you) can get to sim football. And it is pretty darn good, to boot. There are many things, that you would think are things the core game of a AAA studio would have, but doesn’t… because they don’t have to. It also feels like New Star put real passion into Retro Bowl; I cannot say the same for Electronic Frauds. Let me take you through a truly marvelous experience in Retro Bowl. Ready?

The game begins with the player being greeted by a startup screen that introduces you the the Retro Bowl Cinematic Universe. Oh, it’s not called that? Whatever… Next, you pick your team, and also, y’know, your name. Once you do that, you are brought through an excellent tutorial, which summarizes the game briefly, and lets you take in the polished atmosphere of it all so elegantly. The controls feel great, and the game is good, clean fun. You will find that, once you get into the game, that, this game is even better than anybody could have reviewed it. How is this such an underrated gem? You will probably play for hours, like I did. It is excellent. The psychics are great. The gameplay never feels too unfair… if you really try, because this game will put you on edge, for sure! But it is worth it. The depth is the best part. Franchise is just exceptionally deep for mobile. It is a work of art, for sure. Here is a list of things NOT in Madden, that are in Retro Bowl. Why? Because, money, obviously.

  • Coaching Carousels
  • Morale System
  • Stadium Upgrades, Training Upgrades and Rehab Upgrades
  • Staff Hires
  • Difficulty Dynamics
  • Create-a-Team
  • Dynamic Weather
  • In-depth stat-tracking
  • Logical Schedules that follow NFL regulations
  • Full-team Resting system
  • Achievements
  • A personal Hall-of-Fame
  • Solid AI logic and trading + decent AI defense

Why can’t we expect these things from EA? I just don’t get it. That isn’t even all. There’s others, like fan morale and player potential, which are also another reason why you should show some support for the devs, and upgrade to “Premium”, for just a dollar! Don’t worry if you want to free-to-play, because Premium simply adds Create-a-Team, and an upgrade from 10 to 12 players. AND dynamic difficulty. Oh, that’s a lot of stuff missing from the free version? Well, then pay for Premium, and support New Star. On an unrelated note , the one song on this mobile game is better than anything Madden has nowadays. Don’t @ me! Retro Bowl truly has everything that you should have in a football game, right? Right?

Ok, well… I oversold it a wee bit. There are some significant flaws, which is why that very question mark is accompanying our title tonight. He’s our special guest, because of a few concerning issues. For one, there is not a single instance where you will play defense. Ever. Additionally, you will not get to punt, use a fullback, or even call plays. IF that wasn’t enough, our good friends at New Star added a new level of challenge to this game by making it ridiculously hard to comeback… from any deficit. I mean any. It is stupidly hard, anyway.

This game is not perfect. It isn’t licensed, it isn’t even AAA. But it is solid. It is a 4.7 star game on the app store for a reason, right? Right. To that, I can willingly say yes. And I am a contributor as well! IF Retro Bowl continues to make strides towards, say, a defense, than I would rate it more than 5 stars. For now, though. It may very well be the best mobile football game out there, and certainly a deep, immersive, and well-rounded one if it isn’t the best. EA, I’m watching you. Fix Madden Franchise!