Just over a year after releasing NFL Flick Quarterback a follow-up has arrived. NFL Quarterback 13 is from Full Fat which has developed the line of “Flick” games which also includes NFL Kicker, Golf, Rugby, and Soccer. NFL QB 13 touts the addition of multiple receivers, skill boosts, player upgrades, enhanced weather effects, stadium upgrades, and integration of an economy featuring both credits and tokens.
NFL Flick QB provided for quick experiences that were fun but the total package was somewhat lacking in content (check out full impressions here). NFL QB 13 has improved in just about every sense over its predecessor by expanding on those ideas in effective ways and adding investment by improving the QB’s skills and the stadium that is played within over time.
Once again the NFL, but not NFLPA, license is in effect. That means real team names, logos, colors, and uniforms are utilized but no real players appear. Uniforms do seem to be more accurate than those in Flick QB but complete accuracy is not something to be anticipated here. Graphically there is improved definition with both players and the environment.
The central mode again is known as “Playmaker”. This time around, instead of just having a single wide receiver with difficulty increasing as additional defenders are added to the field, there are three receivers on the field. Tapping the button in the lower right area of the screen switches between receivers to target. It’s a welcome change that makes the user feel more involved by adding options and in turn the boosts the pace at which the action moves. There is also much more activity post-catch which is not under the user’s control but makes it more interesting to watch play out. With extra players on the field one would expect things to be much more difficult but that has proven not to be the case.
Receivers always adjust to the ball no matter where it is placed. If it is in their vicinity they are going to catch it as defenders never make a play on the ball. Though there is an increased sense of anticipation for when to throw and where to aim there is no real sense of risk to any pass. There has to be a big miss for the ball to hit the ground or for it to be intercepted. Even the weather effects are minimal as strong wind can push the ball but the receivers adjust to that easily. Pass rushers should also be increasing the intensity but they’re telegraphed so early that there is no problem in getting off the pass before they arrive or evading them as they do.
If it wasn’t already easy enough now there are “Boosts” that can be purchased with “Credits” before each playthrough. There is “SlowMo” which when activated slows down the action significantly, “Seeker” which adds a targeting nature to each pass, and “Blindside Blocker” which adds a blocker to remove the worry of being sacked. These all seem unnecessary, at least for now, but maybe would come in handy for some when deep into an attempt as things start to get more difficult.
The secondary mode is “Quick Fire” which adds a time limit to create some pressure. Bonus time is provided for completing the passes so the runs can extend well beyond the minute it starts with. Still it’s a good way to gain “fans” and “credits” without spending as long as some of the “Playmaker” attempts tend to last.
Providing additional reason to continue playing is the “Credits” that are earned and can be spent on upgrading the stadium or equipment and “Tokens” which are spent on improving the QB and receivers along with the ability to continue games that have ended. The latter feels cheap as it unbalances attempts at high scores however the other uses are all valuable options in progressing with the game.
As “fans” are gained through successful attempts the QB levels up and earns more “credits”. Upgrading the stadium, which has structural options as well as flair like cheerleaders and fireworks, increases the fan base further. The “tokens” which are earned from making daily “Training Camp” runs (which uses what was the “Trick Shot” mode in Flick QB) can then be spent on things like making the receivers faster, giving them the ability to make special catches, increasing arm strength, and increasing accuracy. Because the “tokens” earned from the mode is limited to once a day the only way to quickly make big upgrades is by purchasing them through the marketplace. 3 tokens can be bought for $1, 30 for $7, or a whopping 400 for $60. Spending that money on them would defeat the purpose of improving the players over time – eliminating one of the big reasons to play this over Flick QB.
NFL Quarterback 13 represents a solid step up from NFL Flick QB by beefing up the content and developing a progression system that allows for players to improve. The score-based challenges have the addictive nature that works so well on mobile platforms. The game is available now on the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad for $1.99 and with Android for $2.24.