Reviewed: September 29, 2009
Released: September 18, 2009
App Store Price: $3.99
I doubt most of you are old enough to remember the old magnetic football games but I do. I even had one growing up. So when I had the chance to review Super Shock Football I was ready to relive my childhood. Sadly, my memories of 40 years past are much more fonder than those of playing this game.
Super Shock Football oozes with charm and humor from the title art to the incredibly detailed menu screens to the real-time 3D gameplay. This game is really pushing your iPhone and there is even a warning telling you to make sure and restart, but sadly, no amount of restarting ever got me smooth results. Iím sure this will resolve itself next May when I can upgrade to a 3Gs, but for now, the game is glitchy and jerky on my standard iPhone 3G and sadly, that translates to hiccups in nearly ever aspect of the gameplay.
For being somewhat of a spoof of football, the game actually offers a complete line-up of gameplay potential starting with 20 preset plays and the ability to draw and save your own. You can reposition your line before the snap with a point and drag, and you have full touch and flick controls for passing. There is an impressive computer AI at work or you can challenge a friend to some split-screen multiplayer.
The game is loaded with humor, not only in the artwork but also the hilarious team names and mascot designs. The game syncs with your clock to match day or night conditions and there is massive stat tracking and even 40 achievements you can earn and then brag about. Three difficulty levels guarantee you wonít master the computer AI anytime soon.
Of course the best thing about the game is also the most awkward Ė the tilt and rotate function that spins the camera. On my phone the camera pans are very jerky and once you snap the ball and start rotating the phone around to steer your player there is an inherent delay that often sends my guy running out of bounds even when he has a clear path to the end zone. Itís almost as if the game is stacking up directional commands and playing them back with a 2-3 second delay.
Running plays are pretty standard but passing plays are where the fun begins since you have to literally draw the path of the pass toward your intended receiver. Again, this sounds great in theory but with significant delays between what I am doing and what I am seeing, most of my passes went to the opposing team or were incomplete.
I love the art, I love the graphics, and a really love the music and realistic sounds and even the vibration effects as your team shimmies down the field. Super Shock Football could be the perfect portable football game if you have the hardware to run it. I can only assume a 3GS would remedy most, if not all of my hiccups, and perhaps a future patch will make the game playable on my lowly iPhone 3G.
While I enjoyed the presentation and many of the unique gameplay designs of this game over Madden, I still have to go with the game I can actually play, but Iíll keep this around in hopes it gets optimized. Meanwhile, if you have a 3GS, give it a shot. Itís a fun football game and a great trip down memory lane if you are over 40.