Dec 29, 2011

NFL Pro 2012

The last week of the NFL's 2011-2012 regular season is upon us and shortly after will be the playoffs. I made my SuperBowl prediction two weeks ago and, unfortunately, I'll only be seeing my favorite team in action after this weekend in football games such as this one. What? You want to know my SuperBowl pick, too? Well, read on and I'll reveal that along with a review of this game.

NFL Pro 2012 is taking advantage of the new freemium concept. A concept I lothe, hate, and despise. I don't blame software developers for it. If you, the customer, will support it and it generates the big bucks then I suppose I'd do it too. Instead of charging you $5 for a game I can charge you $1 per player, $2 for new stadiums, and... whoa... I can even charge you for the plays?? Suckerz!

NFL Pro 2012 gives you 100 free credits to work with. Now, let's step back from the freemium aspect of the game and look at the game itself. It's great. Other than insanely slow load times (plan on eating a meal while the game loads... ok... exaggeration) of about a minute or so from start to actually playing a game it's really well done. I particularly like the simpler, but cleaner graphics over Madden '12. On a 4" screen (which apparently is my only choice as GameLoft games generally don't support tablets) I'd rather have less detail and be able to see things more clearly. Controls are decent too, although we revert to onscreen joypads and buttons for many actions. And then there's a nice tutorial that gets you going quickly while running some practice plays.

Ok, so my first game... Redskins vs Giants. I receive the kickoff and have a reasonable return. I'm able to pass and run the ball down the field on my first drive and take it in for 6. And then comes the extra point. I still don't fully understand kicking and after a delay of game penalty I'm credited with a miss which I don't think is in the NFL's rules (I should lose 5 yards and get to re-kick?). But back to kicking... during a kick (field goal, kick off, ...) a bar appears and I can't find any instruction for this. It seems I have to drag down on the right side (where the bar is) and swipe with my finger on the other side of the screen to get a kick to happen. However, I'm always hooking to the left so I must still be doing something wrong although I am doing nice, deep kickoffs and punts.

qrcodeThe game itself plays nice and smooth on offence. Pick a play. Players icons go from red to green when they are open for a pass. A back can sprint, spin, and do a power move. The QB can scramble. Aside from the onscreen joypad it's a pleasure to play. And on defense you just click on a player to take control of him. The sad thing is that I like this better than my experience with Madden '12 and it's great that we have two football sims on Android.

But the freemium crap? I checked and I can buy up to $50 worth of points if I want to buy in bulk. In a nutshell, you probably have enough points to play a game or two for free after downloading the game and as you play you are able to earn more points. I didn't spend any time considering the purchase of a player with my points as I was too busy just buying plays. The game gives you the short plays for free, but if you want to do a medium or deep pass then you've got to pony up some credits and purchase that part of the playbook. You can either buy a play for one down, for the during of a game, or buy them forever to use in any future games. I learned quickly that it's best not buy buy them for one play unless you're just peeking at the plays in that part of the playbook so stick with buying them for the game or forever. You can also unlock plays by attaining levels of progress in the game. I didn't tally up how much it would cost to unlock enough plays to enjoy the game and really, really, really wish there was a way I could just pay GameLoft's usual $7 for the game and play it all.

So all in all, despite the couple of shortcoming such as not fully understanding the kicking game and the onscreen joypad/buttons I really think this is a great football game marred by going freemium. I'd give it a 4.5/5 if it wasn't for the freemium, and I'm not going to reduce that because it's freemium. Just know that it's not free, but rather free*. As for my SuperBowl pick this year: it's San Francisco. And if you win any money with that selection feel free to share.


  1. I've been a 49ers fan since I was in school. UK coverage of American Football has been patchy over the years, but online highlights on save the day. I'm hoping for SF to get to the Superbowl, to add a little edge to the Superbowl party I'm planning ;)
    Anyway - thanks for the review. I've been enjoying Madden 12 for a while now, but will have to consider the in-game purchasing stuff before moving.

  2. Does anyone know why this app has been removed from not only the Play Store but GameLofts entire website? Does it have something to do with a copyright infringement involving the NFL name?