Game Review: Full Fat Games puts it through the uprights with NFL Kicker 13
I picked up the Full Fat Games title, NFL Kicker 13, a while back when it was on sale for a quarter and I have to say, I’m pretty glad I did. In the spirit of keeping you guys and gals up-to-date with apps and games we recommend, I figured it’s time we put this one through the ropes and give it the full review treatment. So, pop your popcorn, grab yourself a nice, refreshing beverage, and let’s get this show on the road, shall we?
If you’ve never played a game from Full Fat’s lineup, they feature a flick-to-play gaming style, which is exactly the case with NFL Kicker 13. You start out the game as a budding field goal kicker from one of any of the 32 NFL teams with one mission: get the ball through the uprights at all costs. Before you get into action, however, you must first complete a brief tutorial session to familiarize yourself with the game’s controls.
One thing that makes NFL Kicker 13 an appealing download is its simple controls – you swipe the screen to the left or right to aim, and you flick from the bottom of the screen to the top to kick the ball. That’s pretty much it, but don’t think by any means that simple controls make for a simple game here.
Sure, things start nice and easy — not much wind, distance, or angle to factor in — but each of those variables see an increase in difficulty after every few kicks. Once you reach speeds of 25 mph+ and you’re a bit further from the posts, it gets pretty difficult to hit your mark.
In the Zone
After the tutorial, the first game mode you unlock is, ”In the Zone”. Here, you’ve got three “lives” to rack up as many points as you can. Missing a kick is equal to losing a life, so you have to make your kicks count.
In the area between the goal posts, there are different colored zones you’ll be aiming for, with the yellow zone being the money shot. Stringing together consecutive kicks inside of the yellow zone adds a multiplier streak to your points total, which resets if you break the streak. As long as your ball makes it through the posts, you won’t lose a life, but you’ll get fewer points than you will for running a long streak of kicks inside the target zone.
You earn coins in the game that can be used to buy special performance enhancing “power-ups” — in real life we call these steroids — that help to make your kicks more powerful and accurate. You can also spend them on other stuff too, like cheerleaders for your stadium (also upgradable via a separate stadium upgrade points system), a Nike gloves and cleats set for your kicker, or classic uniforms for your favorite NFL team.
Your player also gains XP as you move through the game, which allows for unlocking new game modes as you hit new levels of experience.
After you’ve gained a bit of experience, you unlock Coffin Corner mode, which changes things up just a bit. Instead of kicking field goals, now you’re punting the ball out of bounds, as close to the end zone as possible. You don’t want the ball to go into the end zone, however, as that would result in a touchback and no points scored. Again, there are designated scoring areas, just like the ones in “In the Zone”.
In this mode, you only get 10 kicks to score points, regardless of where your kick lands. This leads to lower point totals than you’ll see in the previous mode, as you can only do so much with a limited number of punts. The same scoring rules apply here — hit the yellow zone as many times as you can.
Coffin Corner is a bit trickier than In the Zone, but it’s still a pretty fun game mode, once you get the hang of it. I’m nowhere near as accurate here, but that doesn’t stop me from giving it a try from time to time.
After you’ve unlocked “Go-to Guy” status (the second XP tier), you can play time attack mode. While this is a variation of In the Zone, it’s still a pretty fun game mode. Here, you get one minute to kick the ball through the posts as many times as possible. In this mode, however, scoring changes just slightly.
You still want to aim for the yellow scoring zone first, but after you hit the zone, it disappears. Then you’ll want to move on to the next flashing zone (usually the blue first and then the red). Hitting the zones in order unlocks a slew of extra points and adds a few seconds to your time, so it’s easy to rack up ginormous totals here, if you’re on point. After you’ve cleared each of the scoring zones in a set, you move back a little further and the wind blows a little faster, making each set more difficult.
I know, I know. Facebook sucks. That doesn’t change that I still have an account (the same is probably true for you as well). I don’t use the evil Zuckerberg’s site for much — keeping in touch with family and friends from my school years — but one thing definitely keeps me from deleting my account: Facebook integration with apps and games for Android. If and when Google ever releases the proper API’s for its social network, I hope to see the same type of integration for Google+. Then, perhaps I’d finally delete my FB account forever.
That being said, NFL Kicker 13 is yet another title that features Facebook integration and lets you compete against your friends to see who can get the highest score. Each week, the tournament (or as we like to call it in most other games, leader board) is reset. Any of your friends from Facebook who have played the game will have their highest score added for everyone else to try and top. Nothing major here, but still something nice to keep you occupied and offer somewhat of a social aspect.
Oh, and did I mention there’s a handy news ticker at the bottom to keep you up-to-date on all the latest happenings in the NFL while you get your game on? Kudos for that, Full Fat!
Final Words and Rating
All in all, Full Fat came through as expected with this release. Is it a change for the face of mobile gaming? Absolutely not, but it’s fun enough to justify spending a dollar on, that’s for sure. The graphics are crispy, the game runs nice and smooth on both my Galaxy S III and my Nexus 7 — and again it’s only a freakin’ buck, so you can’t ask for much more.
As for my rating, I’m giving NFL Kicker 4-out-of-5 stars. I’d like to see a more game modes, or perhaps a multiplayer option, but there isn’t too much I can suggest for improvements. If you’ve got a buck to spare and some time to waste, you can’t go wrong here. Hit up the link below and check it out for yourself.
Download: NFL Kicker 13 ($0.99)
Developer: Full Fat