Football and sports video game lovers can now enjoy great football on the go with the free downloadable NFL Pro 12 application. I have tried other sports downloads, but this is one of the best. NFL Pro 12 offers football fun anywhere and anytime. It took me a while to learn how to play, but with my son's help, I have become quite adept. NFL Pro 12 is my son's favorite sports game that he has played so far.
NFL Pro 12 is available for iPad and iPod Touch as an application from the app store on the device. This full-version game is free to download, but it does contain some advertisements. It took approximately three minutes to load and install onto our iPad 2 and closer to 10 minutes to complete the installation on the iPod Touch. I almost always read reviews for downloading an app; NFL Pro 12 had well over 550 four- and five-star ratings (out of approximately 600 total) and none under three stars at the time I downloaded it.
How to play
All teams available; various quarter lengths
Users may select from all 32 NFL teams to play against the computer. In settings, users can set quarter lengths for various times between 2 and 15 real-time minutes per quarter.
Choosing plays: The game comes with a very limited number of running, passing, and defensive plays, but more plays are available to earn. Users can earn points by winning games and completing practice drills. They may then use the points to unlock more plays to use in a single game or keep i permanently. Of course, permanent plays cost more points. Most plays are available as a one-try option for only few points, single-game use, or permanent playbook.
Running: Running is simple with the virtual joystick. It took me a while to learn to control it well, but once I did, I could easily gain a few more yards on each play. A sprint button allows the runner an extra burst of speed and power to break through the line or break away from the defense on a long run. A dive button lets the rusher dive on a short-yardage play for a first down or touchdown. These same buttons and virtual joystick may help a defender make a tackle. Rushers may fumble, so watch for the ball upon contact!
Passing: Passing takes practice, but it then gets easier. The play selection menu shows the receiver's routes with the primary receiver highlighted in yellow. Select a pass play. Snap the ball by touching the quarterback. The receivers go into their routes. Complete the pass by touching the number above the receiver's head. Numbers go in order of preferred receiver. Not every pass will be complete, and open receivers may even drop the ball, and the defense may intercept the pass, making the game more realistic. Upon completion, use the joystick to pick up yards after the catch.
Kicking: Kicking is a little harder. A meter will appear on the right side. Pull down on the football symbol and push up briskly to kick. The further the pull down, the harder the kick. The ball will also travel in the direction of the finger slide, so aim carefully. Long kicks require even more accuracy. This holds true for all kicks regardless of type: punt, field goal, or kickoff.
What I like best
I would like more plays available right from the beginning, but having to earn the points gives incentive to play more and makes the game more challenging. It also makes me plan my points and their use more carefully so I do not use them all at once on only a few plays. I especially liked the fact that I can upgrade my players by earning points. Players get better as I use points to upgrade their skills. The graphics are incredibly sharp, and I can play as any of the 32 NFL teams.
What needs improvement
Overall, the game is very good, but I see two things that need improvement. I would prefer a device tilt feature for player movement over a virtual joystick. I have seen this feature with other games, making it easier to move the characters. I also noticed that players cannot advance fumbles. This kept me from a defensive touchdown on an open-field recovery, but for a free game, I cannot argue.
Excellent mobile game
NFL Pro 12 is an excellent mobile app game that is fun to play on the go or at home. It takes some practice to master just as with most other video games. Sports video game fans, especially those who enjoy football games, would do well to download this application.
Raymond grew up in the days of Atari and witnessed the progression of home video game consoles. He has played sports games on most consoles and personal computers as they became available. He now owns multiple game systems and mobile devices and enjoys most professional sports games. Follow Raymond on Twitter @RayBureau.
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