Developer: Gameloft
Price: $6.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0.0

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
Game Controls Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

You’ve heard the story and you know it well. NFL 2011 is another football game that tries to pack the entire football experience into a pint sized screen, onto a platform with no physical buttons. NFL 2011 is a bit different in respect to its execution, but at the end of the day, the game is just typical Gameloft.

The name of the game for Gameloft is graphics. Make a game look slick and it instantly gets a certain amount of credibility in the app world. There is certainly nothing wrong with this thought process, and their games do turn out to seem a step ahead of others. NFL 2011, with its super crisp players and fairly nice motion animation, looks darn pretty. Other than a few chops here and there, there’s nothing to knock here when it comes to graphics.

Gameloft’s problem, and I’ve seen this over and over again, is that their games show no originality. If NFL 2011 were the only football game coming out this year, it would be one thing, but knowing that Madden 11 will be out in a few weeks, and that it will be a better, more original game, makes me question things. There are really no features that make NFL 2011 unique. Everything, from the plays, to the moves, to the menus are exactly what you would expect from a basic football game. Not necessarily a bad thing, but again, maybe you should wait for Madden.

The worst part of the experience is that everything felt a bit rushed, particularly in the passing department, but also in the completely drab running game and on defense, which is also incredibly drab. The passing problem is very fixable though, and I think would’ve been fixed if a bit more time was put into the game. When running a play, there are buttons above the receivers that you hit to throw the ball to that player. The buttons though are extremely unresponsive, and desperately need to be fixed. I’ve been sacked a number of times with wide open players down field, just because I couldn’t throw the ball to them.

The moral of this story is that if you are desperate for some football action, Gameloft would love to sell you a copy of NFL 2011. If you can wait a bit though, Madden is going to come out, and it is looking to be a real improvement on mobile football game. There’s nothing wrong with the Gameloft version, it’s just the obvious second choice.

Oh, and I have just one more gripe, and this one really bothers me. Why does every play that goes further than 10 yards in NFL 2011 need a dancing celebration? It’s like Gameloft partnered with the guys that did NFL Blitz and made the game a dance-off. Geeze

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