The NFL is entering week 4, but for iOS owners there’s no full featured football sim to play. EA hasn’t released a 13 version for this season, leaving us with the atrocious Madden 12, and the other options are arcade football games. Gameloft offers a football sim of their own, though it hasn’t changed much at all since the initial 2009 game. NFL Pro 2012 from last year was a freemium attempt at a football sim, and it was even worse than Madden 12 for iOS, and one of the worst games available.
NFL Pro 2013 is Gameloft’s attempt for the new year, and it maintains the freemium style. In this case it means you have to use in-game bucks to play with additional teams, unlock play sets, and even lengthen quarters. There’s also an energy meter limiting the amount of games you can play until there’s a refresh clock, or an IAP accelerator. This is the worst version of freemium around, and Gameloft hasn’t changed it from last year.
Surprisingly enough, the payment scheme isn’t even the worse part of the game. The gameplay is absolutely atrocious, and makes Madden 64, from 1998, look great in comparison. The player movements are so archaic and boxy so that running, passing, or playing defense is simply a series of movements in straight lines. You’re limited to just a few play sets on both sides of the ball, and it doesn’t even matter because the gameplay is so horrendous. The game honestly looks like it’s from 1996, and it’s so sad when you see how deluxe Fifa 13 is for iOS.
When you go back to pass, there’s a new first person cam that cuts off part of the screen with the side of the helmets and the offensive lineman. You simply tap a number when it’s green to complete a pass with no thought beyond that. Once you complete the pass, the virtual controls are always off, so you end up running back towards the line of scrimmage at first. On defense, you need to stick to rushing the passer, because playing a ball in the air is just as problematic with the virtual controls. It’s really as basic as can be, and I don’t know why Gameloft released this game when they’ve established a higher standard with Modern Combat 3, N.O.V.A. 3, Asphalt 7, and The Dark Knight Rises. There are no redeeming qualities, and NFL Pro 2013 doesn’t even deserve anymore to be written about it.
NFL Pro 2013 (Free, Universal) makes the replacement refs, and even the Monday Night Football Seahawks touchdown catch call look good.