Retro Bowl

Author: New Star Games
Year: 2020
Genre: Sports
Platform: iOS, Android,

My Rating: 8

Review: It is not a coincidence that the title and look of this mobile game is reminiscent of Tecmo Super Bowl. It is steeped in the best facets of arcade gaming, emphasizing ease of play over realism.

The only aspect of the game under your control is offense. Defense and kickoffs are simulated. While this was initially a bit underwhelming, it’s not a deal-breaker. The game has a ton of options, which helps make the game fun for all types of players. There’s a dynamic difficulty that makes the opponent easy at first and gradually tougher as you get better, or if you want you can set the difficulty level static. You draft, sign, and release players, and use credits to improve their abilities as well as make stadium, training room improvements, coaching improvements, et cetera.

I began playing it about a month after its release. One thing I noticed is that I would play it regularly for several days, then get bored. But then an updated version would be released which some cool new features and I’d play it regularly for a while. It’s now been a couple of months since I’ve played but I can see coming back to it in the future. The game has an active Twitter feed and subreddit and the developer really listens to feedback and uses that to improve the game.

Since the game’s inception, some of the massive updates include tweaking the difficulty, adding tons of statistical categories, additional save slots, and being able to rename players and change uniform colors. You can virtually recreate real teams if that’s your jam.

Easily the best sports game I’ve ever played on a mobile device, with a developer who cares more about the game than profit. In fact, shortly after COVID, the game was released free to the world, with one-time payments only for some added (but not necessary) features.

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