Version Reviewed: 2.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Re-use / Replay Value Rating:
All Star Quarterback is a free-to-play football game in which players can live out a fantasy of being the quarterback of a pro football team. Unlike most football games, this title tasks players with managing the life of a single football player and their time on and off the field, rather than a whole lineup of eleven players from week to week in a football season. The result of this twist on traditional sports games is surprisingly refreshing, though the game itself isn't much more than a clicker/management game with some light role playing and action sequences.
All Star Quarterback begins with players creating their character by making very simple, but custom choices, like name and skin color. From there, players are drafted to a professional team (though the game is not NFL licensed) and have to train, buy, and play their way to a successful career.
As mentioned before, All Star Quarterback allows players to control the fate of a single player in their life both on and off the field. This means that not only will players be calling plays and throwing passes, but also they'll find themselves bench pressing, purchasing personal items, practicing new plays, managing an agent, and more.
Playing All Star Quarterback is not as simple as training hard and performing well in games, though. As part of the game mechanics, players are limited in terms of stamina as to what they are capable of doing in a given time frame. To help squeeze out additional energy, players can purchase energy drinks, but the currency used to do so is also necessary for buying lifestyle items, which can help players recover more stamina or earn more experience between games. As a free-to-play game, players can opt to spend real money to keep buying energy drinks, but the general gameplay mechanisms still hold true: the core of the game is managing energy so that the player improves while also winning games.
While the management aspects of All Star Quarterback can be pretty fun at times, my main complaints with the game are that it doesn't quite feel enough like a sports game and players don't have much as much agency as they should. These two complaints tie together and present themselves most clearly when in the midst of a game. Most of the action during a game day sequence is automated, with players just watching along. Occasionally, players will be able to choose a play and swipe to complete a pass, but the rest of the game generally feels pretty random. By random, I mean both that the game action is in no way predictable and that things like field goals from midfield and two point conversion attempts are made relatively frequently, despite that not being the norm in real pro football. Even if the game recreated a more regular ebb and flow of a pro football game, most of the game action - including passing plays - are still automated, which feels a little odd, especially once players have earned their way to starting quarterback.
Overall, All Star Quarterback is a strange management sim in that it doesn't quite capture the things it's supposed to be simulating. That being said, the base mechanics of the game are solid and can be quite compelling. Players looking for a authentically football-like experience might want to look elsewhere, but All Star Quarterback is still satisfying in its own right for what it is.