There are several sports related Windows Phone games out there that are excellent choices when you need a little help passing the time. American Football: Champion Kicker Tournament 2015 hopes to catch your eye and join the ranks of these entertaining games.
The graphics are nicely drawn up in EA Sports style and distance and wind variables help add to the challenge of making the field goals. There are also three gaming modes to give American Football: Champion Kicker Tournament 2015 a little variety. The game is available for low-memory Windows Phones and worth trying. While I enjoyed playing American Football, the game does have a bit of room for improvement.
The main menu for American Football: Champion Kicker Tournament 2015 offers options to access the game's store, access the game's settings, view your gaming statistics and access the three gaming modes. Settings are minimal with options to turn on/off the music and sound effects. The gaming store that is accessible from the main menu is limited to in-app purchases for credits that can be used to buy power-ups that become available just prior to game play. In making an in-app purchase you also remove the ad support, which can be annoying with the full-screen ads.
The three game modes are accessible by swiping to the left from the game store page and include:
- Time Attack: Race against the clock with this gaming mode to see how many field goals you can kick from various distances before the sixty-second timer expires.
- Training: Practice makes perfect and this gaming mode allows you to hone your kicking skills without the pressure of the clock or penalties for missing kicks.
- Arcade: While you lose the pressure of a game clock, with the Arcade mode you are afforded three lives. If you miss a field goal, you forfeit one of your lives. As you make field goals, your distance and wind speeds increase.
When you first start game play, the Arcade mode is locked. You will need to kick your way to Level 2 before the Arcade mode becomes available. As best as I can tell, your experience levels are based on the number of field goals you make and it takes 200 field goals to reach Level 2 and unlock the Arcade mode.
Regardless of the gaming mode, the mechanics of game play is consistent throughout American Football. Your kicking distance is displayed at the bottom of the screen and your wind speed and direction will be posted in the upper right corner of the screen. The goal post has four colored sections running through the middle of the uprights. The goal is to kick your football through the uprights, hitting each of the colored sections. As you hit a colored section with your kick, it is eliminated. A kick through the uprights is not considered successful unless it strikes a colored section.
Kicking is done by swiping up at the screen as if you are kicking the ball with your finger. The direction and speed of your swipe will determine the direction and power behind your kick. Once you have swiped at the football, a football kicker will appear and kick the football.
While I liked the animations and graphics of the football kicker showing up, in the Time Attack mode the clock doesn't stop while you enjoy these animations. While it doesn't sound like much, the kicker animation eats up about one second per kick. Losing those seconds will result in you have fewer attempts per game. I would have liked to have seen the clock pause while the kicker does his thing or have the option to turn off the animations.
There are a few power-ups you can used to increase your chances of success. Prior to each game (other than the Training games), you will have the opportunity to buy five power-ups with the credits you earn during game play or buy through IAPs. These power-ups include:
- Slow Motion: This power-up gives you six chances to slow time down.
- Second Chance: This power-up gives you one more chance to improve you score by adding a few seconds to the clock once it expires.
- Combo: Here you are allowed to achieve a score multiplier of 12x.
- Power Kick: This power-up puts a little more giddy-up to your kicking leg.
- Seeker: This offering makes it easier to hit the yellow zone.
Game play is very similar to other field goal games we have seen. I do like the added challenge of having to strike the separate sections of the goal post with your kicks and the animations do add a nice touch to things. While I liked American Football: Champion Kicker Tournament 2015 there is some room for improvement.
These areas include:
- While the physics engine was spot on for the most part, there were times that a 3mph cross wind would act as if it was blowing at 20mph and vice versa. There needs to be better consistency here. It's not a deal breaker but noticeable at times.
- The animations are excellent, but they can eat up the game clock.
- If the ball is in the air, heading to the goal post and the clock hits zero, you will not get credit for the goal. The game needs to take into account that the kick took place before the clock hits zero and allow the last second goal to count.
- The kicker in the game has what appears to be an Arizona Cardinal uniform on. The Store description stats that you can choose your team, but I could not find any option for such.
Lastly, while I can understand the need to work towards unlocking the Arcade gaming mode but it takes forever to get to Level 2. It may be better to lower the goal (in half?) to reach Level 2 to avoid the risk of the Time Attack mode growing stale too quickly.
While there is room for improvement, American Football: Champion Kicker Tournament 2015 has the potential of being an excellent time waster of a Windows Phone game, but if it could tweak things slightly it would be so much better.
Heck, simply adding the ability to dress out the football player in your favorite NFL team colors would give the game a nice boost.
Hopefully the developer can fine-tune things to increase the game's appeal. Ideally I would like to see a version of Madden Football land in the Windows Phone Store but, if you like sports related games, American Football: Champion Kicker Tournament 2015 is worth checking out. The game is free and ad-supported with those pesky full-screen ads. If you try American Football out, let us know what you think of the game in the comments below.