Version Reviewed: 1.5
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Re-use / Replay Value Rating:
Although it may look like a sports game, Touchdown Hero is more of an endless runner like Temple Run. Players take control of a football player as they run as far as possible - across as many football fields as possible - in order to score... well... as many touchdowns as possible. With this premise, Touchdown Hero is a fun enough distraction, though it can take a while to get used to how it plays.
At the start of each game, players find themselves running with a football in a wide open field of play. As the avatar runs automatically toward the endzone it's up to players to touch, hold, and drag their fingers along the screen to dodge their way to a touchdown. Once a touchdown is scored, a new football field appears and the cycle repeats itself - though there are even more opponents looking to tackle the runner on each subsequent field.
If players touch an opposing player they are automatically pitched out to a continue screen, which can be used freely by players that pay to unlock the full title ($1.99) or by free players by watching a video ad. Considering the game's difficulty ramps up by having more opponents rush on screen, this may sound like a pretty tough game (which it is), but the developers also included a neat system to help players increase their score: a slo-mo mechanic.
With slo-mo, players can take their finger off the screen for a set period of time to bring the pace of the game to a crawl. From here, it's much easier to assess the oncoming threats and react accordingly. As an added bonus, touching anywhere on the screen to resume full speed instantly snaps the player to that area, so players can quickly dash sideways, diagonally, or backward out of harms way before running full speed ahead.
Although this is a handy little system, Touchdown Hero still suffers pretty significantly from two major problems: its slo-mo mode is a little unintuitive, and there's not much more to the game than trying to effectively use that unintuitive system. The reason the slo-mo mode feels awkward and hard to use is because it asks players to relinquish control entirely (by removing their finger from the screen) before allowing them to resume play, which (mentally) seems like the opposite of what most would instinctively want to do. On top of this, once players have acclimated themselves to this strange system Touchdown Hero has little else lying underneath its base gameplay beyond a few unlockable uniforms.
There's stuff to like about Touchdown Hero, but there ultimately isn't very much of it. It's a constant exercise in dodging opposing players using a single mechanic, and - although it works - it feels a bit awkward.