EA Madden franchise is finally available for iPhone and iPOD Touch and it delivers a good gaming experience due its innovative and easy to handle controls.
I was expecting a long loading time but for my surprise it was very reasonable, short if you consider it is a complex game.
The first thing to do is to select your favorite team and you have all 32 NFL ones! After that you will be sent to the menu screen. It is simple but well organized.
As most of the sport games you can go directly to a quick game (Play Now) or start a Season. Resume feature is available even for a quick game.
If you want depth you can manage Rosters packed with nearly 2,000 players along with detailed charts and trades. As the game description says ?you run the show?!
A good set of Options is also there. Quarter Length, D-PAD location (left/right), favorite team, sound (control for every game sound element apart) and music player (3.0 OS iPOD music support).
First of all Madden NFL 10 has a great in game Help that includes a good and illustrated Tutorial. You will be playing the game in no time!
There?s no difficulty levels to select, such as Easy, Normal and Hard, but the game feels balanced for the average player.
It is a good idea to play some quick games before starting a season. Get use to the new controls, training plays (offense and defense) and field goals can make a huge difference later.
The D-PAD, that can be set to be at left or right of the screen, works as expected but what makes this game really nice is the buttons approach.
The Action button not only opens a set of possible actions but also adds a slow motion that make things a lot easier to see and even understand considering that we are playing a football game, with all players, in a small screen.
The slow motion can be used when you are attacking, defending and even right after the kickoff.
Offense and defense plays can be selected in a cover flow alike interface. There is a good set of them including a flip option. In addition, you can draw custom routes for your receivers using the Hot Route button. Once you tap it you have just to select a receiver and draw the route you want. It works great and it can be used to make that last change when you see the defense formation. A nice strategic touch.
Another useful button is the Camera one that gives a better view of the field (tilt while holding it to turn the camera left or right) along with receivers routes.
To throw the ball you have just to tap an eligible receiver surrounded by an icon. When this icon is green chances are you will complete the play. Yellow represents an average percentage and Red is for a low percentage. It?s all about a good timing. The system works very well.
As mentioned before, the defense also has an Action button including the slow motion feature. It?s not so simple initially but it?s a matter of read the opponent?s play and get use to all available actions.
Finally, the kick system reminds the one seen in Tiger Woods. You move an arrow to set the direction and then drag the football down and then up through the meter. A straight line means a good kick!
In resume, all the controls and interface were put together to deliver the best game experience possible.
The game interface is polished. Menu items are well organized making the navigation through the game features very easy. In addition, the interface to select a play, a cover flow alike one, works like a charm.
The game graphics are also very good. Stadium, field and the external scenario are all top-notch.
Animations are not so smooth but they are good.
The menu has background music (alternative style) but when the game starts it does not play. Only sound effects.
Sound effects are subtle and there are also sparse commentaries during the game.
The game allows you to adjust music, effects, commentary and crowd volumes apart from each other.
Finally, the game supports iPOD music but all other game sounds are muted. I?d like to see iPOD music and sound effects. If you stop the iPOD music the game remains muted until you restart it. Not so good approach.
Fast loading time Great interface All 32 NFL teams Season mode Innovative controls It can properly resume
It partially supports iPOD music (game sounds are muted) Only one landscape mode is supported (volume button down) One difficulty level There is no online or multiplayer feature
EA Madden NFL 10 is an impressive football game that delivers innovative and easy to use controls, great graphics, good sounds and a Season mode. If you like football that?s the game for you!
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: -4.5- great graphics but not so smooth animations Sound: -4- it supports iPOD music but mutes game sounds Controls: -5- innovative and easy to use Gameplay: -4- the controls make this game easy to play but there?s no online or multiplayer feature in this version
Playing Hints and Tips:
Read the well designed and illustrated tutorial Use camera button to check the receivers routes Use Action button all the time (at least initially) Play some quick games before starting a season
Game Facts: Developer: Electronic Arts Release Date: Sep 03, 2009 Genre: Sport Price: $7.99 (after Thurday 8:30 PM EST it?ll be $9.99) Size: 102 MB Buy Game: iTunes App Store