Aug 28, 2011

Finger Football

I'm on football season number 3 with an Android device and there still isn't a solid American style football game for Android. EA indicated Madden was coming almost a year ago... but when? And Gameloft hasn't ported their NFL title over either. Even more so, I'm kind of surprised nobody has stepped up to the plate to fill this gaping hole in Android's game library. We've got 5 decent baseball games.. but 0 when it comes to football? So it's no surprise that I've been thinking about this...

About 6 months ago I came up with an idea for a football game that would be unique and pretty cool (or so I felt). Apparently I wasn't the only one, because Finger Football is pretty much this same idea. It's a football game that takes advantage of a touch screen interface to provide you with arcade control of your team's players instead of the typical 'choose a play' style game. Finger Football drops the whole idea of defense, though, and is basically a 'score as much as you can' before you lose possession of the ball.

Ok, so here's the deal. You've got four downs and you've got to score. On each down you can absorb three hits before the play is over. At the start of each down you've got five seconds to quickly preprogram your offense, the ball is then snapped, and it's all real time after that. You can run the ball or pass the ball. Blockers will try to knock players off of their feet opening up running lanes. Likewise, you can hang out behind the line and wait for a clear pass although defenders in the way can and will block your passes.

The game plays reasonably well. The graphics aren't anything special, just X's and O's, and the sound effects consist of little more than whistle blows and crowd cheers. Controls simply require you to touch and play and drag to tell it where to go. Unfortunately the touch isn't exactly intelligent and often the first thing your player will do is a little jiggy dance before actually executing your intended path.

I don't want to be too hard on Finger Football. It's free and it's a work in progress. Originally it wouldn't run on my tablet... now it does. And you can check it out in the market to see the list of additions they've made and that there's a plan to add defense and such. Until then, this game isn't going to provide much long term fun. At first, it's tough while you get your bearings as to how the game works. However, once you start figuring out some plays that work then things go smooth and get easier. The game does increase the challenge by speeding up the action as you start racking up the TDs, but by then the realization that the other games don't have you design your plays from scratch each time sinks it. That quickly gets boring and there needs to be a way to design and save plays... and the defense needs to be smart enough to adjust to my plays instead of falling for the same old tricks.

In a nutshell, if you're a football fan then it's certainly worth trying this one out and even keeping an eye on it as it improves. There's potential here, but that potential is unrealized so far. 3/5 stars.


  1. I can't believe they didn't include goal posts! That's a show-stopper for me.

  2. LOL I think there's a string holding the ball, making the hand which is off screen control it..