We've got a decent soccer game... a great hockey game... a solid baseball game... but no decent football games. Why? Why? Why? Football season is right around the corner so now is the time to strike. Enter AutoBall Football from Antithesis Design. AutoBall Football is unique. I've never encountered a football game remotely like this so let's take a look.
First, the instructions are hard to understand. There's something about playing cards up and down (yes, playing cards as in a standard poker deck) and fewer cards are better. After reading them I wasn't much better off. Then you'll pick a team and a name and you'll be playing. Next, a dice roll is done for the kickoff although the meaning of the rolled numbers is a secret... it's certainly not in the single page of instructions so I don't know when to get excited (I think higher is better after running through a few kickoffs). The graphical display isn't bad with tiny little players running about and doing their business. Then it's time to choose a play... Do I run? Do I pass? Does it matter? I don't think it does, because either way results in me playing a simplified game of Klondike Solitaire. I'm presented with 7 stacks of 5 cards and another draw pile of 16 cards. I then have to play cards from the top card on each stack onto my draw card such that I'm playing sequentially 'numbered' cards. My goal is apparently to play as many of the 35 cards as I can and the better I do then the better my play execution and yardage gain is. There's also a bonus for playing a series of 10 cards or more before having to draw another. But do I really want to play a full game of Klondike for every play? I think I made it through 3 plays before getting a headache.
Then there are other options such as Kings on or off. What does it do? Who knows? Who cares? I'm bored and I'm sad... I thought maybe we had a decent football game, but the wait will continue. About the only thing I can applaud with this game is innovation and the willingness to try out a new idea. Unfortunately it falls flat. 2/5 stars for a game that works, but strikes out.