We’ve spent a few hours this weekend playing “Madden NFL 10” for the iPhone, Electronic Arts’ first attempt at porting its football game to Apple’s phone.
It’s very good, and much better than its main competitor, Gameloft’s “NFL 2010,” which has dropped its price down to $2.99 (from $7.99 at launch) to stay in the game.
- Overall, the experience is excellent. The graphics are among the iPhone platform’s best.
- Gameplay is fun, takes great advantage of the iPhone’s touchscreen, and it’s not hard to start playing. In fact, the game might even be too easy. We normally stink at video games, and we’re already shutting out good opponents.
- We’re especially excited for head-to-head gameplay, coming in an update.
- “Madden” seems to eat up a lot of memory. (Understandably.) We recommend restarting your iPhone before playing and turning on “aeroplane mode” for the best experience. (You won’t be able to receive calls or text messages, but the game seems to be smoother because of less background activity from the phone and mail apps.)
- Remember: Obviously, “Madden” on the iPhone isn’t as good as playing on an Xbox. But this is a phone! It’s easily the best phone sports game we’ve ever seen. (That said, we could see why hardcore gamers would opt for a device that’s smoother. The graphics aren’t quite there yet on the iPhone 3G, vs. dedicated gaming devices, something that matters as Apple positions its portable gadgets as gaming devices. Maybe the newer iPhone 3GS or latest iPod touch do a better job.)
- There’s a few tiny bugs, such as incorrect commentary audio after certain plays. (Like congratulating a kicker for making both of two field goals, even though he botched the first one.)
If you’re a football fan, we think “Madden” is worth the $10. And we’re not alone — it’s currently the 2nd best selling paid app in the App Store; the “top grossing” app; and has a 4-star rating after 791 reviews. (About 2/3 of reviewers have given it 5 stars.)