EA’s mobile version of their long-running Madden NFL series doesn’t deliver the same wallop as the home game, but a true football fan will appreciate the chance to get a quick game in while waiting for a bus, killing a lunch hour, or wondering how to kill that interminable time between finishing that last beer and waiting for the bartender to bring over another one.
The action, by mobile standards, is as good as it gets. EA now gives you a choice between touchscreen controls, that tend to be clumsy and awkward, or the virtual “joystick” in the corner, giving it a more traditional feel. The playbook is limited, at least in the free initial download version, but is upgradeable with continuous play.
The “Season” mode is similar to standard Madden game play, allowing you to play both offense and defense. “Head to Head” is a little more frustrating, basically just allowing the participants to take turns playing offensive series; one can call the defensive formation and scheme, but not control it. Players can also join live events.
The meta-game, however, is basically Madden Ultimate team in a mobile platform, and that’s where you can have some fun. You can buy players, and build your own team, allowing you to scramble around as Aaron Rodgers, after faking a hand-off to Adrian Peterson and going long to Julio Jones. You can even play a few names from the past, like Deion Sanders.
So how do you get those players? The cheapest and most fun way is with Madden NFL coins.
Madden coins, can be earned through continuous and progressive game play, including practice drills and completed tutorials. Virtually every action=related move in the game allows one to earn these coins, and use them for in-app purchases, including player packs and player and game improvements. Increased play also automatically unlocks playbook expansion, new levels of play, and other game enhancements. In other words, the more you play, the more the game expands.
It can be a bit of a grind, but that’s part of the allure; the game isn’t merely a chance to play Tom Brady via your thumb, it gives you a chance to own a real franchise, built up and customized by you, team owner and general manager. The continuity and the chance to build a team with one’s own characteristics give the game a personal depth and quality few other games can match.
A few tips: save your coins, and use them wisely. Don’t spend them as soon as you earn them, as player bundles and sets often come at more value than buying a random set and hoping. Don’t be afraid to complete sets, a list of items and players, that, completed, can be redeemed for rewards. Don’t be so quick to sell or auction off a player.
In game play, use the expanded playbook as you earn it. Don’t just let the game call the plays. Be unpredictable.
And when accruing players, especially at skill positions? Go for speed. It is, in Madden World, often the difference in winning and losing.