Touchdown Football
Copyright/Publisher: , Release Year: 1986,
Genre: American Football, Number Of Players: 1 or 2

Yet another American Football simulation muscles into the scrimmage, and again a different approach to the violent American national sport is offered. In Touchdown Football you are given direct control over player, which look more like human creatures than the dots and blobs which we have come to love, and the the whole thing is played over a left and right scrolling pitch.

Upon loading three options are presented: player vs player, player vs computer and computer vs computer (more of a demo mode than anything else). Choosing one of these leads to another option allowing the player(s) to define the time for each quarter (from five to fifteen minutes). As soon as the time factor is settled the football players casually loaf onto the field and a 'coin' is tossed by the ref to decide which side kicks off.

Once all that rigmarole is over the play begins and the winner of the toss wellies the ball down the field (pressing the fire button does the action if a human happens to be kicking off). The other team's receiver automatically catches the ball and is put under direct control of the player allowing the receiver to be moved up the field. All the oher players are put under computer control and they wander about the field and cause hassle to the other team as best they can. Play continues until the receiver is brought to the ground by a sprite crunching tackle.

When that happens a scrimmage takes place. Here the players have to choose their scrimmage tactics, done by using two sets of menus (one for each player) which appear at the top of the screen. When a meny appears, moving the joystick in one of its eight directions gives an option.

When you decide which one of the options is just the sort of move you need, press fire. This selects the option and moves onto the next menu screen. These menus allow extensive planning of each move and the player can set movements for his line, certain blockers, receiver and wide receiver and specialised receiver moves (left streak, wide right etc) while the defensive player works out how he wants to thwart the offensive move (blitz, tight right, monster left etc).

If required the offensive player can also choose to kick the ball - useful if you've a fourth down and eleven! Once the move is selected it's possible to change it, but the penalty for doing so is that the moves aren't displayed - it's up to you to remember which position of the joystick gives what.

When everything is sorted out the scrimmage can be played. Pressing the fire button lobs the ball from the scrimmange to the receiver, who catches it automatically. The offensive player has direct control over the receiver and he can be moved anywhere on the pitch. Pressing fire makes the receiver throw the ball to the catcher defined during the menu period. Meanwhile the defence does their bit too and move automatically to follow the movement planned during the menu process. The defending player is given control over one of the line men and can move him anywhere (be careful not to go offside). The game continues according to the rules until the whistle is blown.

Julian Rignall
I don't like the football action bit in this game, it looks like a clever predictions of Chernobyl 2006, after all the demented mutant things that pathetically hobble the pitch on their diseased legs can only be the product of heavy fallout. The scrolling would do a jellyfish proud and the rest of the game is very slow and at times it's difficult to see exactly what is going on. Try other yanky footy sims out before shelling out your dosh for this.
I love American sports but found that my passion was soon quelled when I saw this rather half-baked attempt at simulating American football. The graphics are very poor and not at all well defined and the scrolling is of the chunky sort. Playing the game is slow, even though the menus are easy to use. If you want an American football sim then have a look at Ocean's, it captures the spirit of the game which is more than this one does.


The menu system is quite easy to use and the instructions aren't too bad.
Totally pathetic sprites and yorkie scrolling.
Feeble poops, parps and a jingle or two.
Initial interest in the sport might give you the incentive to give it a try.
But once you've played it you won't be convinced.
Ocean's is better value.
Nothing to go ape over, even if you love the sport.