The big game is this weekend and most American's will tell you it's a lot more than just a football game.
Many people make an event out of the game with parties, barbecues, and betting pools, even if their favorite team isn't in the running. Even the commercials shown during the game are an event in themselves with advertisers spending huge amounts of money for 30-second and 1-minute spots.
While you wait for the Sunday's festivities to kick off, I've put together a collection of mobile games to get you excited for the main event. Most of the time I only write about iPhone apps in this space, but this special event calls for a special post.
This week's apps are football-themed games for both iPhone and Android and they all let you fill the shoes of different players on a football team. The first lets you run past defenders on your way to the end zone. The second lets you try your luck at being the kicker who needs to split the uprights. The third has you playing as the quarterback, trying to complete perfect passes to open receivers.
Editor's note: If you are right now saying to yourself, "I hate football!" then read Jaymar Cabebe's post "Game day apps for football haters."
Backbreaker Football 2: Vengeance ($2.99) for iPhone and Android is the sequel to Backbreaker Football (99 cents), a game that put you in the shoes of a football player running and dodging tackles to get to the end zone. Just like the original, beautiful 3D graphics and solid animations give you the feeling of powering your way down the field. But in BackBreaker Football 2: Vengeance, you now have the ability to play on the other side of the ball as a defender who needs to dodge blockers and ultimately tackle the ball carrier. You start off by customizing a player with a few options for jersey number, skin tone, and uniform, but you'll be able to unlock more uniforms and other goodies as you play the game.
Once on the field, Backbreaker Football 2: Vengeance adds new moves and features to keep the game exciting. In addition to the spin, juke, and sprint moves found in the original, you can now jump over low tackles and objects by tapping on the middle of the screen. You also have a "trucking" move that turns your player into a power runner, bulldozing your way through high tackles and under props on the field. Having a low solid object to jump over or a low-hanging bar to "truck" under look a little out of place on the football field, but BackBreaker Football is an arcade game, and the new additions definitely make for some complicated challenges. You also can't help but feel a sense of accomplishment after a long line of jumping over objects, dodging tackles, and showboating into the end zone.
Like the original, you get more points if you can showboat or high step into the end zone at the end of your run. The Showboating move slows you down, making it possible for tacklers to catch up to you, so you have to choose the right time to start showing off in order to make it to the end zone while racking up the most points. Backbreaker Football 2: Vengeance takes showboating a step further with an extra button that makes your showboating move even more exaggerated and quite a bit slower while doubling the points you'll receive if you make it to the end zone. Don't be surprised if you end up eating the turf 5 yards short of the end zone before you get the hang of it.
Backbreaker Football 2: Vengeance is an excellent sequel that keeps the best things about the original, and adds a fun new game type and more moves to help you make defenders miss. The game mechanic is very addictive, and as you progress, you'll need to use every move at your disposal to reach the end zone or tackle your opponent. Anyone who played the first game or likes the idea of an easy to pick-up-and-play football game will appreciate the challenge and polish of this sequel.
Flick Kick Field Goal (99 cents) for iPhone and Android lets you take the role of a kicker and use your finger to send a football through the uprights. The control scheme is about as easy as it gets: simply flick the football toward the field goal uprights and if you manage to split the goal posts, you score a point.
The game comes with several game modes, but all rely on the simple mechanic of flicking to kick field goals. Arcade mode challenges you to kick as many field goals as possible, and you'll be required to kick field goals from greater and greater distances and account for wind speed. Precision mode challenges you to try to hit the middle of the field goal as many times as possible over the course of 20 kicks. Each area of the field goal is assigned a percentage (100 percent in the middle, 75 percent just off center, and 50 percent on the sides) with the goal of obtaining the highest percentage of perfect kicks possible. There's also a Sudden Death mode where you'll need to kick field goals in the middle to get extra lives, but if you miss three field goals, you're done. Finally, a Time Attack mode challenges you to kick as many field goals as possible in a 2-minute time limit with center field goals adding 2 seconds to your time. Frankly, there is not a huge difference between game modes, but if you like the action of flicking to kick field goals, the variation definitely adds replay value.
Flick Kick Field goal also offers a Multiplayer mode where you can challenge people locally or get matched up with another player online and take turns going for accuracy with your kicks.
My only problem with the game is the way it lists wind speed. A 2 mph wind is almost unnoticeable, while a 6 mph wind will drastically affect ball trajectory. It's not a huge issue, but be aware that the wind speeds get tough quickly.
Flick Kick Field goal is mostly a one-trick pony, but with a few game modes, multiplayer, and great kicking action, this game will appeal to anyone looking for an easy and fun game.
NFL Flick Quarterback (99 cents) for iPhone and Android is an excellent touch-screen game concept that manages to make you feel like a real quarterback as you connect with receivers. The game offers a Basic Skills level to get you started and explains how the game works: you must complete passes to open receivers while accounting for both defensive players and wind speed. Hitting an open receiver almost always results in a touchdown; there's no defense after the catch. But you will need to make crisp passes in order to get high scores.
The game offers a few different game modes and all of them add to the experience of throwing good passes. The main mode is called Playmaker, where you'll need to lead receivers with your passes for them to make clean catches. As the game progresses, more defenders are added, making it crucial that you flick the ball with just the right amount of force to get it to your receiver. You'll have some help there--a circle under the receiver turns green when he gets into open space, but you'll still need precision, because a defensive back is often not far behind. Scores are based on how well you lead the receiver and number of touchdowns after successful passes.
A Quick Fire game mode gives you 45 seconds to complete as many passes as possible. Completed passes add seconds on to your time and the quality of pass matters, too: with a good leading pass you can get 5 seconds added on, but with a close call catch, you'll only get 3 seconds (and misses subtract 3 seconds). The feeling of urgency forces you to walk the fine line of getting the pass off while remaining precise.
A third game mode called Trick Shot tests your accuracy by having you throw passes into barrels. As you progress, the barrels get farther away and wind speed starts to play a role forcing you to make perfect passes to hit the target. All of the game modes are fun and different enough from each other that you'll want to try each again and again.
NFL Flick Quarterback is an excellent game for football fans who want to make the perfect pass. With several game types and plenty of variation, this will be the perfect game to check out while you wait for the big game this Sunday.